Justin Gaethje picked to stop Islam Makhachev in UFC title fight: ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if he knocked him out’

Justin Gaethje picked to knock out Islam Makhachev in future UFC title fight Tim Welch

Continually staking his claim for an undisputed UFC lightweight title fight with Islam Makahchev following the Russian’s dominant victory last month in Abu Dhabi, former interim titleholder, Justin Gaethje has been backed to even knock out the defending champion by mixed martial arts head coach, Tim Welch, if he lands the fight.

Gaethje, a former interim lightweight champion under the banner of the UFC, most recently landed the symbolic BMF title back in July in the main event of UFC 291, landing a second round high-kick KO win over fellow former interim champion, Dustin Poirier in the pair’s rematch.

As for Makhachev, the incumbent lightweight champion defended his crown back in October atop UFC 294 in the Middle East, landing a first round high-kick knockout win of his own in a short-notice rematch with undisputed featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski

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Maintaining he would likely sit out for over a year in order to secure a fresh title fight with Makhachev – whom is expected to fight former champion, Charles Oliveira in a rematch next year, Gaethje questioned who else he should fight to earn his title affair.

“Who do I fight?” Justin Gaethje asked. “There’s no one. I did what I had to do. I don’t know what else I need to do.” 

“If they [the UFC] want to put (Charles) Oliveira in there, then I fight him (Islam Makhachev) in September,” Justin Gaethje explained. “I have no issues waiting. Again, as I get older, I get to understand from now until the time I’m gonna fight him I’m gonna be building strength. I’m gonna be working on my cardio, I’m gonna be refining my skills. So, I’ll have as much time as they give me and I’ll be that much more ready.” 

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Justin Gaethje picked to potentially KO Islam Makhachev in title fight

However, as per the above-mentioned, Welch, head coach to undisputed bantamweight champion, Sean O’Malley – Gaethje could actually have the kryptonite to defeat Makhachev, potentially by knockout to boot.

“Everyone thinks Justin Gaethje would get ran through,” Welch said on his podcast with O’Malley. “I don’t think he would, dude – because they talk about Gaethje, when he fought Khabib (Nurmagoemdov), he got there [Abu Dhabi] 10 days before that fight and just everything was wrong.”

“Gaethje’s a different dude – Khabib said he knew that Justin got there [late], and he’s through that time travel multiple ties. He knew that was just gonna ruin him. This Gaethje now, versus Islam in Vegas or something. I wouldn’t be that surprised if Gaethje knocked him out.” (H/T MMA News)

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