Justin Gaethje only has one name in mind for his future not named Edson Barboza, and that name is not Anthony Pettis.
Following Anthony Pettis’s upset victory over Stephen Thompson at UFC Nashville, as is always the case after a major victory, the MMA world wanted to know what was next for the big winner. One of the options that Pettis threw out there was a fight against the winner of UFC Philadelphia’s main event between Justin Gaethje and Edson Barboza that will be taking place this Saturday on ESPN. However, Justin Gaethje has another opponent in mind after his fight with Edson Barboza:
“As much as I respect Pettis, I won’t be looking for that fight after I win here,” Gaethje told MMA Junkie on media day. “I want that fight back (with Poirier). I have to have that fight back.”
“Ultimately, I would like to see (Poirier) win and get the title, and then fight him,” Gaethje said.
Another fight that has been linked to Gaethje in the past is Al Iaquinta, who was originally scheduled to be Gaethje’s last opponent. Instead, Gaethje found himself steamrolling James Vick instead at the UFC Nebraska last year. Even after the fight fell through, Gaethje expressed interest in attempting to rebook the Al Iaquinta fight, even after Iaquinta suddenly withdrew from their scheduled bout last year, but Gaethje has now moved on from Raging Al:
“Al’s a (expletive), so I’m done with him,” Gaethje said. “He’s a (expletive), man. I’ve tried to fight him so many times. He’s signed up and backed out, and I’ll put no more effort into him until he’s the only shot to my title.”
Despite the expletives, Justin Gaethje understands where Al Iaquinta is coming from. One glimpse into Justin Gaethje’s Highlight reel and it’s easy to see that anybody who agrees to fight Justin Gaethje is signing up for a lot of hurt, win or lose:
“I think he’s smart,” he said. “It’s not a fight you necessarily want. You have to go through hell to beat me. I got Poirier’s quad ripped. I’ve tore plenty of people’s MCLs, ACLs with my kicks. Those are not things you want to go through, especially when you get a win.”
Are you disappointed to hear Justin Gaethje express disinterest in fighting Anthony Pettis and Al Iaquinta?