Justin Gaethje is becoming increasingly disgruntled at the fact that he was overlooked for a shot at the vacant lightweight title recently in favor of Charles Oliviera and Michael Chandler.
Gaethje isn’t sure why he was snubbed, but it’s clear that he feels disrespected after having fought tooth and nail to be one of the most exciting fighters on the roster.
“Who knows, man,” Gaethje said when asked by Raptors MMA about the reason for him not getting the next title opportunity. “I can’t talk about it a lot right now. I’m sure me talking about it is the reason I’m here in the past. Who knows? Maybe I p*ssed someone off, I don’t know. All I know is since I was 12, 13 years old, I listened to Dana White do his interviews and explain what he wanted in a fighter, and I’m that motherf*cker.
“If I get disrespected, it’s gonna be hurtful because I really bought in to what that man talked about. So yeah, it’ll hurt because I feel like I’m a company man from Day 1. I don’t ever wanna go anywhere else, I don’t ever want to fight anywhere else. But my principles are the most important thing to me, so we’ll see what happens.”
The fact that Gaethje underperformed in his big title fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov last time out likely has a lot to do with why he didn’t get the nod from the UFC.
Nevertheless, there’s no question that Gaethje has more than proved his worth to the company since joining in 2017, delivering fight-after-fight of thrilling kill-or-be-killed entertainment, and racking up finishes by strikes in all five of his victories inside the Octagon.
As one of the lightweight division’s top fighters there’s no doubt that more big fights should await Gaethje in the near future, so hopefully he and the UFC can get together and smooth things over sooner rather than later.