Former interim UFC lightweight champion, Justin Gaethje says he is eyeing a 2023 return, and admits he is two or three wins from another shot at the title.
Justin Gaethje is coming off a second unsuccessful bid for the UFC’s lightweight title, falling short against Charles Oliveira. ‘Do Bronx’ would battle through early adversity, rallying after some early knockdowns to stun Gaethje, wasting no time to leap take the back and sink in a rear-naked choke.
The 33-year-old Gaethje, currently holds the No.3 ranking at 155lbs, ‘The Highlight’ is also one of the most credible names in the talent-stacked division. Following a much-needed nose surgery, Gaethje is now eyeing an Octagon return in the first quarter of next year.
“I told them next year,” Gaethje said to MMAFighting during a recent interview. “I’m starting to work out now, I’m back in a regular routine. One thing we have over other sports is that the body is resilient, but you have to give it time. I got hit really hard, I had a hard camp, and I wanted to take a break. It was nice that I got my nose fixed.“
Gaethje also added that if the timing allowed, would like to fight on the same card as teammate Kamaru Usman, who is likely to face Leon Edwards, in England, in a trilogy title fight.
“They got a fight for the title [at UFC 280], so somebody’s got to fight the loser. Michael Chandler and Dustin Poirier are going to fight, somebody’s got to fight the winner. I’ll be ready next year, ideally January, February, or March, whatever they want to do. I’m not sure when Kamaru [Usman] is going to London [for the Leon Edwards rematch], but I wouldn’t mind fighting in London.” (H/TMMAFighting)