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Justin Gaethje next fight: Who gets the ‘King of Violence’ in his UFC return?

Jason Burgos
justin gaethje next fight

Official Justin Gaethje next fight news isn’t likely to be announced until this summer. However, when the former UFC interim lightweight champion is ready to return to the Octagon, there are a variety of exciting options available for MMA’s king of violence.

Who will Justin Gaethje next fight be against?

Gaethje isn’t likely to be licking his wounds from his UFC 274 title fight loss to Charles Oliveira for very long. Especially, since he has not been as active as he would have liked over the last few years. Don’t expect “The Highlight” to sit out long, and when he does return fights with division superstars Dustin Poirier, Beniel Dariush, and Michael Chandler are strong possibilities.

justin gaethje next fight
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
  • The Diamond: Gaethje and Poirier went to war once in a fantastic bout in 2018. It is a rematch many have wanted, and as the last two men to lose to Oliveira, it seems a fitting fight to stay in title contention.
  • Battle with Benny: Chances are Islam Makhachev lands a championship opportunity next. Leaving Sportsnaut’s fourth-ranked 155-pounder without a dance partner. A clash with Gaethje would be a perfect chance for “Benny” to prove worthy of a title bout later this year.
  • Iron Mike: Gaethje and Chandler had the 2021 “UFC fight of the year.” If the former Bellator champion doesn’t land a bout with Conor McGregor next — his preferred option — running back that epic from November might be the promotion’s best option.

Related: UFC tonight – Fight card, betting odds, and watch times for Saturday’s UFC event

Justin Gaethje vs Charles Oliveira recap

justin gaethje next fight
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

On May 7 at UFC 274, Gaethje and former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira battled in the night’s main event. Due to Oliveira missing weight the day before, he would be unable to go home with the title if he was victorious. However, for the Arizona native he still had the chance to reach his career goal if he was able to overcome the talents of the Brazilian.

What happened: Gaethje and Oliveira tore into each other over one hard-fought round inside the Footprint Center . Both men landed damaging shots and hurt the other. However, “do Bronx” was clearly the faster and more technical fighter. Eventually he was able to wear down his opponent and catch him with a shot that floored Gaethje late in the round. Once it hit the mat, the former interim champ was out of his depth and was eventually forced to tap out do to a rear-naked choke.

The fallout: Gathje will have a long road ahead of him if he hopes to get back into title contention. However, at 33 he still has time left for one good run to get three or four wins that earns him a third shot at the UFC lightweight title.

The roadmap: Gaethje is one of the promotion’s most well-liked and reliable stars. He is deserving of a big name fight next, and he could be another athlete that is in the running to be the return opponent for Conor McGregor.

justin gaethje next fight
Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Violence King: There truly are very few fighters like Gaethje in UFC history. There have been many tough fighters, or brawlers with heavy hands, but few have been able to defeat elite talent as well. The 33-year-old is a rarity for being a crushing machine with an unbreakable will, but also has the skill and fight IQ to compete with the best lightweights of his era.

  • Justin Gaethje Record: 23-4 (19 knockouts, 1 submission)
  • The lightweight division has had some talented knockout artists, but not many have been as efficient as Gaethje in dealing out KOs. In his 23 wins, 83% have come by KO.
  • Gaethje has a better knockout rate than heavyweight bombers Derrick Lewis and Francis Ngannou. The two men many believe are the most devastating punchers in MMA history.
  • The Arizona native was a sensation from the start of his promotional run in 2017 and has main event UFC cards in seven of his nine fights.
  • Gaethje had a good bit of hype entering the promotion after having a memorable run as the World Series of Fighting lightweight champion before they were rebranded as the PFL.
  • Gaethje has faced two former UFC and Bellator 155-pound champions during his time in the UFC
  • Several of his fights, including against Chandler, Poirier, Eddie Alvarez, and Michael Johnson, either won or were nominated for “Fight of the Year” during the 12-month period when they occurred.

Justin Gaethje’s net worth

Money is often one of the greatest measuring sticks for a fighter’s success. As of 2022, Gaethje’s net worth is estimated to be over $2 million.