UFC Fight Night 158: What's next for Justin Gaethje following an impressive win over Donald Cerrone?
At UFC Fight Night 158, Justin Gaethje pulled off another outstanding win in the Octagon as The Highlight defeated UFC veteran Donald Cerrone via first-round TKO. Heading into the fight, Gaethje had bested the likes of Edson Barboza, James Vick, and most importantly holds a TKO win over former interim UFC Lightweight Champion, Dustin Poirier.
Entering the Octagon in Vancouver against Cowboy, Gaethje had all the momentum in the world and was certainly beaming with confidence as well, considering the fact that Cerrone had suffered a loss to Tony Ferguson in his last Octagon outing at UFC 238. And, at Fight Night 158 it didn't take too long for The Highlight to secure another vital win as he knocked Cerrone out into the first four minutes of the fight.
With a win over an experienced campaigner such as Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone, Gaethje has certainly changed the landscape in the UFC Lightweight Division. The stacked 155-pound division currently consists of the likes of Tony Ferguson, Dustin Poirier, Conor McGregor (who is open to an Octagon return), and of course, reigning UFC Lightweight Champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
With all that being said, what's next for Justin 'The Highlight' Gaethje? A shot at the UFC Lightweight Championship or a shot at former UFC Lightweights Champions?
As of this stage, Nurmagomedov is expected to defend his title against Tony Ferguson and with both fighters compiling an undefeated streak of their own, fights fans have been patiently waiting to witness a clash between El Cucuy and The Eagle for ages now. The only fair decision from here on would be to have Ferguson challenge for the title given that he also holds two vital wins over Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone.
Coming to Justin Gaethje, I feel that a potential fight against either Dustin Poirier or Conor McGregor should decide if The Highlight gets to challenge for the UFC Lightweight Championship or not. Despite Gathje calling McGregor a retired Irishman in his post-fight Octagon interview, let us not rule out the fact that the UFC would certainly love to book a fight between The Notorious One and The Highlight in the near future.
On the other hand, a rematch between Gaethje and Poirier could possibly be on the cards as well, given Poirier is on the back off a title loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov and would love to get back on the road to redemption. As for Gaethje, a marquee fight against Poirier or McGregor should be considered as his next Octagon outing.Published 15 Sep 2019, 15:50 IST