Justin Gaethje

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 07: Justin Gaethje celebrates after defeating Michael Johnson in their lightweight bout during The Ultimate Fighter Finale at T-Mobile Arena on July 7, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Justin Gaethje vs. Charles Oliveira being targeted in 2021

The UFC lightweight division is beginning to fall into place. With lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov retired the question remains, who will be next for the title. While there are a few men who could easily jump into that title fight, the jury is still out. Many believe that the upcoming UFC Fight Island bout between Duston Poirier and Conor McGregor will be upgraded to a title fight. However, that is not official yet. As for the rest of the division, there are some exciting developments at the top. Michael Chandler will be taking on Dan Hooker at that same UFC 257 event, and now Dana White has mentioned that he is looking to match Justin Gaethje and Charles Oliveira.

On Tuesday evening, White took part in a virtual fan Q&A on ESPN+ to answers some questions about the upcoming year for the striving organization. When asked what was next for the former title challenger Gaethje, White revealed his plan.

“If everything goes right, it will probably be (Charles) Oliveira,” White said.

Oliveira was last seen beating Tony Ferguson by unanimous decision just three weeks ago. White said he originally wanted Oliveira to face Chandler in January but the time limit would not be possible. Instead now perhaps the winner of Gaethje vs. Oliveira could face the winners of either lightweight bout on Jan. 23.

Gaethje is coming off a title fight loss to Nurmagomedov and could be putting himself back in the line for another shot at the belt with a win over a prominent and tough opponent such as Oliveira. While this is all just talk at the moment a lot can change over the next few weeks, in the lead up to and after UFC 257. Also, Numragomedov has mentioned that he will be having a meeting with White soon, perhaps to discuss the future of the title and the lightweight division.

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