Justin Gaethje is stepping on short notice at UFC 249, but he’s still confident that if he connects, it’ll be game over for Tony Ferguson.
Gaethje (21-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) faces Ferguson (25-3 MMA, 15-1 UFC) at an unknown location for the UFC interim lightweight title.
“I got the perfect dance partner,” Gaethje told TMZ. “I got the dance partner that I dream about and that’s Tony Ferguson. “He thrives in dark places, he doesn’t get tired, he’s got cardio for days, and I hit like a Mack truck. So when I hit him, he’ll go to sleep.”
“I possess some of the best finishing skills on the UFC roster,” he continued. “I’m gonna attack his body, I’m gonna attack his legs and whenever he’s worried about those, I’m going to punch him in the head and hopefully he goes to sleep. If not, he’s probably going to cut me up with some elbows, probably choke me out late in the fight if I don’t put him to sleep. But I’m content with every single one of those scenarios as long as I get to go in there and I don’t disappoint myself and my family.”
“Tony brings many challenges,” Gaethje said. “I’m looking forward to facing adversity in there. I literally know he thrives in dark places and I consider myself to also thrive in dark places. As disappointing as it is that Khabib and Tony aren’t happening, if you’re a fan of MMA, then you’re an idiot if you’re not excited about this fight.”
Gaethje admitted he had to assess his place in the UFC lightweight division before convincing his coach that accepting the fight was the right decision.
“They called me, my coach said no, not no, but my coach said, ‘You don’t take late replacement fights,’” said Gaethje. “I said, ‘You’re right,’ so I was like, ‘Let’s sleep on it.’ The next morning I woke up (and) I said, ‘If I lose, where are we at?’ and for me it’s in the same exact spot I’m at right now.”
“I’m going to go out there and I’m going to get a paycheck, which is nice. But ultimately, I get a chance at glory. Heroes live forever and legends never die and I’m literally here to make a statement.”