Justin Gaethje thinks beating Islam Makhachev would ‘even the score’ with Khabib Nurmagomedov

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If the two fight in the future, according to the former interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje, a victory over Islam Makhachev will certainly go a long way toward settling the score with Khabib Nurmagomedov, Makhachev’s colleague and former rival.

Gaethje, the current No. 3 lightweight contender, most recently competed at UFC 274 in May against former undisputed champion Charles Oliveira, losing to the Brazilian in the first round via rear-naked choke.

Justin Gaethje thinks beating Islam Makhachev is big

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Gaethje eyes this month’s vacant title bout between Oliveira and Makhachev at UFC 280. Gathje lost to Khabib at UFC 254

“Yes,” Justin Gaethje said during a recent interview with LowKick MMA reporter, Makoa Goble when asked if a win over Makhachev would even the score with Khabib. “That would be, yeah – that would be better than evening the score, probably.”

“I think the main part of that statement, is (Charles) Oliveira’s ability to not be submitted by (Islam) Makhachev,” Justin Gaethje said. “If he doesn’t get submitted, then most likely, he’s on his back for three rounds or more. And then Makhachev wins a decision, so.”

“… If you know anything about this, this is what you think is supposed to happen,” Justin Gaethje explained. “But if you just watched Kamaru (Usman’s) fight (against Leon Edwards), then you know this is the best sport in the world because anything can happen at any given moment. I’m excited to watch the fight. I hope Oliveira beats him up. I hope Oliveira keeps it standing – I hope Oliveira stays on top of him. It would be cool to see all those things – we’ll see. We’ll see what happens, (it’s) a crazy sport.”