The former interim UFC lightweight champion is aiming to become the undisputed champ for the first time against Oliveira this Saturday.
Gaethje has already had one opportunity missed at capturing the belt having fallen to defeat in his attempt at unifying interim status against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 254 in 2020.
Now the American faces another submission specialist who will be looking to add an additional title defense to his reign as champion against the man many observe as the dark horse of the division.
The challenger to Oliveira is unconvinced with the UFC lightweight champion’s belief in himself, declaring it “false confidence.” Gaethje was asked what makes him have such an honest assessment of his performance, with the 33-year-old taking the opportunity to fire a low blow at his opponent.
“I think it’s the easiest thing to do,” said Gaethje. “If you have to create something, for one, they’re creating a false confidence and a false bravado. It’s the worst thing you can do in there. Like, again, that’s what I’m counting on (at UFC 274). A portion of his confidence is false right now, and I know that. That’s because I’ve seen it and that’s because it’s in him.”
A lot will be made of the Brazilian’s chin in the lead up to UFC 274 having been dropped in his two previous title fights. Despite those occurrences, Oliveira would go on to win on both occasions.
Yet with the UFC lightweight champion facing another ruthless striker, could the power of Gaethje be too much for Oliveira to handle? The challenger may sense some fear in the eyes of his opponent, which he highlights as some self-doubt.
Although, Gaethje is known for trying to get into the heads of his opponents in the build-up to his fights, with this being another case of that. ‘The Highlight’ has even offered some free advice to Oliveira on how to beat him in the stand-up.
Do you agree with Gaethje’s comments? Does Oliveira hold some ‘false confidence’?