UFC Champion Is Going to Have to ‘Walk Through Hell’ in Next Fight

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Reigning UFC 155-pound champion Charles Oliveira is set for his second title defense, and challenger Justin Gaethje is ready to make the Brazilian “walk through hell” to win.

The two are scheduled to do battle during the UFC 274 main event on May 7 at the Footprint Center in Pheonix, Arizona.

Gaethje is ranked No. 1 as per the official UFC lightweight rankings, and he’s riding the momentum of a fight-of-the-year candidate win over Michael Chandler in November.

Speaking with ESPN, “The Highlight” expects to be “perfect” inside the Octagon for all five championship rounds. So, Oliveira will have to be ready to absorb blows in the way Khabib Nurmagomedov did when he fought Gaethje in 2020.

“On May 7, at 9:30 Mountain Time, I’m gonna be perfect and I’ll be perfect for 25 minutes,” Gaethje said via Middle Easy. “If he can beat me, then kudos to him. But he’s gonna have to walk through hell like Khabib [Nurmagomedov] did. He’s not as powerful, he doesn’t have the structure, he doesn’t have the frame, and he doesn’t have explosive takedowns.

“He’s going to have find me making a mistake, overreaching, and try to get into a grappling situation. Outside that, he better be praying every day that he gets me to the ground. If not, it’s going to be the same night as [Michael] Chandler, except five rounds. If I went five rounds with Chandler, he would have died and that’s the truth. So, I’m glad we didn’t go five rounds.”

Gaethje Promises Fans an ‘Amazing Fight’ With Oliveira

The Highlight is known as one of the most entertaining fighters on the roster. And fans can once again expect to see an “amazing fight” on May 7, according to Gaethje.

“I will step in there and it will be an amazing fight,” Gaethje said via Middle Easy. “I will have an amazing performance, I know I will. Because that’s who I am — I’m a showoff, I’m a performer. That’s what I’ve been since I was a little child.”

All in all, Gaethje has earned 20 victories via stoppage in his 23-3 professional mixed martial arts career. Whether it was a win or a loss, the only time Gaethje has gone the distance in the UFC was his Chandler fight at UFC 268.

Bisping Thinks Gaethje Should Consider Using His Wrestling

Gaethje is not only a striker, he’s known for his highly capable wrestling. And in a recent YouTube video, former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping suggested Gaethje implement some wrestling into his game plan.

“If he (Justin Gaethje) uses the wrestling, and takes down Charles Oliveira, that could be dangerous,” Bisping said via Low Kick MMA. “We know Charles is the best submission practitioner that the UFC has ever seen. But it doesn’t me he (Gaethje) can’t win a fight down there. Just look at the last time Charles Oliveira was beaten, that was against Paul Felder… ultimately, he gassed. Felder got on top and he landed five or six vicious, hard elbows, one after the other, and the referee called it off.”

“But the point remains, that a good wrestler, with a solid base, that isn’t playing that game, can win,” Bisping continued. “If you don’t engage in the Jiu-Jitsu game, if you don’t abide by the rules, if you don’t try and pass guard, if you don’t try and go for your own submissions, you don’t create as many openings.”

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