Fights in the UFC ‘s lightweight division were red hot in 2020, and it looks like the company is looking to keep the flames going heading into the new year
During a live Q+A with fans on January 5, UFC President Dana White indicated that the promotion was looking to book a bout between Justin Gaethje and Charles Oliveira. “Do Bronx” is currently on an 8-fight win streak, including an impressive showing against Tony Ferguson at UFC 256. Gaethje on the other hand picked up four consecutive finishes before losing to UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov this past October. While White didn’t give an exact date for the fight, he did seem to imply that it would happen sometime in the first half of this year.
Although the matchup is sure to deliver fireworks, the winner of the bout may be waiting on the sidelines. White stated that the UFC is currently considering the main event of UFC 257 between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier as a number one contender fight, with the victor getting another crack at the 155 lbs. belt. Despite Nurmagomedov announcing his retirement at UFC 254, White is confident that he can convince the undefeated 32-year-old during an upcoming meeting next week. Should White be successful, Nurmagomedov would rematch the winner of UFC 257 sometime later this year and the winner of Oliveira and Gaethje would be forced to wait or fight someone else in the meantime. If those talks fail, however, it’s very possible Olivera or Gaethje could end up facing Poirier or McGregor for the vacant strap.
Stylistically, the fight between “Do Bronx” and “The Highlight” should be an interesting one. Gatheje’s striking has become more technical and less erratic following his first two career defeats, looking sharp with TKO victories against Edson Barboza, Donald Cerrone, and Tony Ferguson. Meanwhile, Oliveira has looked like a fighter reborn since moving back up to lightweight, rattling off five submission victories and 2 TKO stoppages in his last eight. In fact, Oliveira’s only decision since moving back up came last month, when he completely dominated shared opponent Tony Ferguson from start to finish.
Check out the full breakdown and analysis of the fight below:
Patrick is a consultant turned journalist who loves the fight game and everything to do with it. Focusing on the politics, business, and general state of MMA are his mainstays, though he'll dabble in analysis and best bets when he can. He also enjoys football, basketball, baseball, and great jokes in general so feel free to reach out and berate him on social media whenever you disagree with him.