UFC lightweight champion, Charles Oliveira has been quite critical of former interim lightweight champion, Justin Gaethje‘s last Octagon appearance back in October of last year — calling his performance against former undisputed kingpin, Khabib Nurmagomedov “ugly“””.
Oliveira, the current undisputed gold holder, is slated to take main event honors at UFC 269 at the end of this year in his first attempted defense of the lightweight crown — tackling the former interim titleholder, Dustin Poirier.
The Brazilian lifted the vacant lightweight crown back in May at UFC 261, stopping former three-time Bellator lightweight best, Michael Chandler with a quickfire second round left hook knockout — having himself suffering a knockdown late in the opening round.
For the aforenoted, Gaethje, the ONX Labs trainee is slated to feature on the main card of UFC 268 in November at Madison Square Garden, taking on soon-to-be common-opposition, Chandler in a pivotal lightweight challenge, as he attempts to earn another shot at Octagon spoils.
The bout will mark Gaethje’s first matchup under the promotion’s banner since a UFC 254 title unification bout with the abovementioned, Khabib in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Struggling with the constant pressure and forward movement of the undefeated Dagestani, Gaethje managed to land a slew of leg kicks against the American Kickboxing Academy staple, as well as a couple notable counter shots, however, suffered a second round triangle loss to the defending champion, before Khabib announced his retirement from the sport.
Charles Oliveira Describes Justin Gaethje’s Performance At UFC 254 As The ‘Ugliest’ He’s Ever Seen
Reacting to recent claims from the Arizona native that he is still a “quitter” despite his division-best nine-fight undefeated run, Oliveira gave his thoughts on the former interim titleholder’s apparent lackluster performance against Khabib.
“Michael Chandler got here, was signed by the UFC to fight for the belt, and had his opportunity,” Oliveira told MMA Fighting reporter, Guilherme Cruz on Trocacao Franca. “He landed a good hand, had the opportunity to knock me out and win the fight but couldn’t. I went there and knocked him out. Justin Gaethje had the opportunity to fight for the belt against Khabib [Nurmagomedov] and you all saw what happened, I don’t need to say what happened. The ugliest fight I’ve ever seen in my life, he died, so I don’t have anything to say. You know whan a guy needs to talk to be on the spotlight? To me, that’s what’s going on here. He needs to talk to be on the spotlight.“
Enjoying a splendid year last annum, Oliveira became the promotion’s most prolific submission artist with a third round guillotine win over Kevin Lee in the main event of UFC Fight Night Brasilia in March of last year, before scoring a hugely one-sided unanimous decision win over former interim titleholder, Tony Ferguson in the co-headliner of UFC 256.