Justin Gaethje: It’ll be ‘6 months, at least, before I get back to taking shots’ after UFC 300 loss

Justin Gaethje plans to return to the octagon, but he’s not going to rush things.

Gaethje was on the wrong end of a brutal last-second knockout against Max Holloway in the BMF title fight at UFC 300 earlier this month. “The Highlight” also suffered a broken nose early in the fight, and was on the receiving end of more than 180 significant strikes — 62 of those to the head — in the losing effort. When asked about a UFC return, the former interim lightweight champion couldn’t answer that question, but he knows he’ll spend most of the rest of 2024 away from contact in the gym before he’ll start planning his next move.

“Metaphorically, I could be ready tomorrow, but physically, I do want to take care of myself,” Gaethje told MMA Hangout. “I do think that repeated concussions, with me going to sleep like that, me receiving that shot, it would be foolish for me to jump back into training anytime before 180 days.

“I could do cardio, I can stay in shape, that’s what I want to try and do — especially [with] the older I get, the harder it is to get back to the best shape of my life, so I want to stay active. Obviously the physical contact is going to be limited for quite some time, just because I want to preserve myself. … I think six months, at least, before I get back to taking shots. But that doesn’t say that I wont be training the whole time.”

Gaethje, in most people’s eyes, was the No. 1 contender for Islam Makhachev’s lightweight title prior to putting his BMF title on the line against Holloway on the historic card. With arguably the most competitive division in the sport only getting deeper, Gaethje may have a lot of work to do to get back into that championship discussion.

Although, if Dustin Poirier can pull off a big upset against Makhachev in the main event of UFC 302 on June 1, perhaps Gaethje could land a third meeting with Poirier to settle their two-fight tie. But again, MMA is the Wild West, and a lot can change over time.

“It’s a crazy game,” Gaethje said. “We’ll see how that Dustin [and] Makhachev fight goes. Crazy game.”

Source link

You May Also Like