After Charles Oliveira defended his title against the No. 1 contender Dustin Poirier back in December, the winner from the Gaethje vs Chandler fight would have the shot at that title that Khabib Nurmagomedov left vacant. When the Russian champion was still active, he got bored of beating every single fighter in his division. But now, everything is up for grabs with many great contenders having a chance at the belt. Oliveira managed to beat Poirier with a spectacular submission but Justin Gaethje is an entirely different animal. Charles Oliveira knows that he is facing the man who probably is considered the best in the entire Lightweight division. Apart from Khabib, of course.
In fact, Khabib's last fight as a professional was against Gaethje and he's repeatedly stated that Justin is the man to beat when he isn't fighting in the division. We are getting this fight on May 7, as UFC president Dana White told the folks at ESPN on Wednesday afternoon. Oliveira (32-8) had a tremendous 2021 after knocking Michael Chandler out for the vacant title that Khabib left after retiring. The problem here is that Gaethje truly feels the vacant title was rightfully his. After Oliveira won it against Chandler and defended it against Poirier, Gaethje has gone all the way to get another shot at winning the belt. That opportunity finally arrived.
Who has the upper hand in this title bout?
Judging on Oliveira's experience and age, you would think he is the overwhelming favorite for this title fight. However, the Trevor Wittman student comes from one of the most successful MMA teams in present day. They currently have fighters like Rose Namajunas, Kamaru Usman and Stipe Miocic. All of which are of have been UFC champions in recent years. It appears that all the stars are finally aligning for Justin Gaethje to get his crack at winning the belt. Come May 7th, we will see if he has what it takes to be the champion.