Justin Gaethje has a mission to fulfill, namely to dethrone the undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov next weekend at UFC 254 on “Fight Island”.
Gaethje, who currently holds the UFC temporary lightweight title, is entering the biggest fight of his professional MMA career. The 31-year-old is already one of the most entertaining fighters to ever set foot inside the octagon. He will have a chance to become world champion and defeat the most dominant fighter in recent times if he locks the horns with Nurmagomedov.
If Gaethje is able to give Khabib his first loss and get away with the undisputed UFC lightweight title, he will have a massive target on his back in 2021. With former UFC champion Conor McGregor, Gaethje is expected to take on Dustin Poirier in January and may have another fight earlier than expected.
However, Gaethje has made no plans beyond his title fight with Khabib at UFC 254. Although McGregor is the biggest money fight in the game today and the two share a rocky story, Gaethje is not ready to give “Notorious” what he wants.
“I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, he’s losing his whole train here,” Gaethje said recently in an interview with TMZ Sports (see above) about McGregor.
“For me, when I’ve been wrestling all my life, you haven’t thought of others,” he added. “You were just thinking that nobody would take that away from you. When I get this belt, the target is on my back and I don’t have to call anyone.
“So who knows. To be honest, it wouldn’t matter. It wouldn’t matter who I fought after defeating Khabib. This will cement my legacy and that’s the only thing I’m here for. “
While fans love to talk about what’s next, especially when it comes to McGregor, Gaethje does exactly what he is supposed to be doing. All of his focus must be on UFC 254 and taking Nurmagomedov’s easy title. Taking time to think about a matchup with McGregor or even a rematch with Poirier shouldn’t be a “highlight”.
After all, he’s trying to cement his MMA legacy and become an easy legend by defeating “Eagle”.
UFC 254 will take place live on October 24th on ESPN + PPV in the Flash Forum on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi. The PPV card has an unusual start time of 2 p.m. ET.
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