After coming up short at UFC 274, what’s next for Justin Gaethje?

This past Saturday in the main event of UFC 274, Justin Gaethje (23-4) had his chance to become the undisputed lightweight champion. To do that, he had to face the man who entered the octagon with the title, Charles Oliveira (33-8).

Now, Oliveira missed weight by .5 pounds so he was stripped of his UFC lightweight title ahead of the main event. That said, Justin Gaethje still had his chance to become champion, he just needed to defeat Oliveira.

This fight was crazy from the opening seconds. Oliveira came across the octagon and was blasted by a leg kick from Gaethje. However, Oliveira landed a couple of shots that seemingly rocked Gaethje.

Then, Gaethje rocked the former UFC champion twice including dropping him clean. However, Oliveira remained calm and composed. Later on in the first round, Oliveira blasted Gaethje with a right that sent him down.

The challenger had his back taken and Oliveira locked in the choke. Gaethje was forced to tap and once again came up short in his quest to become undisputed UFC champion.

What’s next after UFC 274?

With the title loss at UFC 274, Gaethje dropped to 5-3 in his last eight fights inside the octagon. Now, it’s worth noting that the three losses came against Oliveira, Khabib, and Dustin Poirier so he’s only lost to the best of the best.

The question now becomes what will the UFC do with Gaethje next? Let’s be clear, The Highlight is still one of the very best lightweights in the world. Losing to Charles Oliveira doesn’t hurt his stock, it just proves once again that Oliveira is the best in the world.

There are plenty of entertaining fights for Gaethje inside the octagon. One fight that I would love to see is a rematch with Dustin Poirier. Poirier and Gaethje had. war back in 2018 and both are coming off losses to Oliveira. Seems like a good time to pair them back up.

I don’t think anyone would mind seeing a rematch with Michael Chandler, but I don’t think that’s in the cards for the UFC. Another option could be a fight with Conor McGregor. McGregor and Gaethje have had some back and forth for a while, and this could be a great fight to book for McGregor’s return.

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