When will Justin Gaethje return following brutal KO loss to Max Holloway at UFC 300? 

Justin Gaethje became the BMF champion at UFC 291 with a vicious head-kick knockout of Dustin Poirier. Following his victory, ‘The Highlight’ was certainly in the mix to challenge Islam Makhachev for the lightweight championship. But Justin Gaethje fought Max Holloway at UFC 300 and lost via last-second knockout.

Gaethje fought brilliantly against Max ‘Blessed’ Holloway in the co-main event of UFC 300, despite the loss. This was just Gaethje’s third knockout loss in 30 UFC matches. Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez have previously knocked out Justin. This is why Gaethje wants to have enough rest to properly recover before getting back into the ring.

“Metaphorically, I could be ready tomorrow, but physically, I do want to take care of myself,” said Gaethje.

He added, “I do think that repeated concussions, with me going to sleep like that and me receiving that shot, would be foolish for me to jump back into training any time before 180 days.”

Previously, Islam Makhachev claimed that Gaethje vs. Holloway didn’t make any sense because it would not benefit Gaethje. In the end, Islam’s prediction somewhat came true, as now Gaethje is no longer the BMF champion. Besides that, the person he defeated to become BMF title holder is fighting Makhachev for the lightweight belt, while he is not sure who will be his next opponent.

What is next for Justin Gaethje? 

Dustin Poirier will face Islam Makhachev at UFC 302, while Gaethje will be recovering from a concussion. Before his loss to Holloway, Gaethje was next in line to challenge Makhachev.

However, he has fallen down the pecking order as Aram Tsarukyan defeated Charles Oliveira in a controversial decision to become the No. 1 contender for the lightweight title.

Justin Gaethje
Dustin Poirier vs Justin Gaethje at UFC 291 (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

The only possible way Gaethje could receive a title shot is if Dustin Poirier secures a win over Islam Makhachev. Gaethje and Poirier have fought against each other twice, with both holding one victory over each other. If Poirier pulls a surprise upset at dethroning Islam Makhachev, the Gaethje and Poirier trilogy could make perfect sense for UFC fans. Justin Gaethje’s return from recovery will eventually settle everything.

Depending on who will be the current champion after his return, it would be interesting to see who his next opponent will be.

Immanuel Chowdhury

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Immanuel Chowdhury is a professional and dedicated writer for SportsZion, mainly focusing on UFC and boxing. He specializes in capturing the essence of combat sports through insightful analysis and compelling storytelling.


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