The fight proceeded under unconventional circumstances as Oliveira missed weight and was stripped of the championship. However, Gaethje failed to capitalize on being the only one eligible to win the belt.
'The Highlight' lost via a rear naked choke submission from the former champion after being dropped from a heavy right hand. Gaethje recounted his experience inside the octagon with 'do Bronx' while conversing with the media at UFC 278. The American described Oliveira's potency for damage and how it surprised him:
"I think you know, my last fight, Charles was brilliant. And he hurt me often, he hurt me early. Ten seconds in I was really hurt. And probably four times after that, I felt something I've never felt in a cage. You know, it was just one of those fights where, you know, it was against adversity all the time."
He further elaborated on just how dangerous Oliveira was on the night of their fight:
"Yeah, I mean, it's a feeling. It's a feeling I've never felt. Usually you get hit, call it buzz, call it a flash, this is more like my tongue just went on a super powerful battery and just my entire body- it was crazy. So yeah, it was perfect shots, you know, perfect time. One or the other and yeah, it was the factors that I faced that night."
Watch Justin Gaethje's full interview below:
Justin Gaethje rules out Islam Makhachev dominating Charles Oliveira
Gaethje finds himself out of the title picture as Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev fight it out for the lightweight belt at UFC 280.
'The Highlight' offered his thoughts ahead of their meeting while expressing his excitement for the same. He said in the same interview:
"Fighting is so exciting. Chance, skill, anything can happen at any moment. And that's why we are such big fans. So those fights need to play out, you know, I have no idea how they're gonna go. I'm a 100% confident that Islam will not dominate Charles and that's about it."
Justin Gaethje highlighted the volatile nature of combat sports and stated that anything could happen in the main event of UFC 280. From his experience against Charles Oliveira, he knows just how difficult it can be against the Brazilian, and he assured fans that Makhchev dominating would be a reach.
Ranked just ahead of Makhachev at third in the lightweight rankings, Gaethje will look to return to the octagon soon and find his way back into title contention after having lost twice in championship bouts.