Ahead of his potential UFC lightweight title-eliminator against one-time vacant lightweight title challenger, Michael Chandler, the #1 ranked, Justin Gaethje has invited a future pairing with recently minted gold holder, Charles Oliveira, claiming that the Brazilian is a “quitter“”.

Set to return for the first time in 13-months, Arizona native, Gaethje saw his run of four straight knockout victories halted by the undefeated, Khabib Nurmagomedov in Abu Dhabi, UAE — suffering a second round triangle loss in a lightweight title unification loss. 

Hoping to get back on the saddle at Madison Square Garden in November against former three-time Bellator lightweight, the aforenoted, Chandler, Gaethje has sights firmly set on another tilt at lightweight gold in the future, and has expressed his willingness to meet with Oliveira, or expected incoming title challenger, fellow former interim champion and past opponent, Dustin Poirier in a title re-run next year.

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However, Gaethje recently insisted that he would “love” to challenge Oliveira for the title, claiming that the promotion’s most prolific submission artist is a “quitter“.

I’m in a great position, I don’t have to win eight in a row,” Justin Gaethje told former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra and comedian, Jim Norton on UFC Unfiltered. “I’ve got to win one in a row. So if he wins (against Dustin Poirier), I would love to fight Charles Oliveira, because I will show you what I’m saying. He’s a quitter. He is a quitter. He showed it to you in the Michael Chandler fight.

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At the end of the first round, he was not looking good, he didn’t want to be there,” Gaethje explained. “That’s just what I think, that’s my opinion. And (Dustin) Poirier is going to beat him up.

Whilst a pairing of Oliveira and Poirier has yet to be penned, the lightweight title bout is expected to land at UFC 269 in December, as part of a championship tripleheader, following the confirmation of a matchup between Amanda Nunes and Julianna Pena, and a trilogy bout between Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.