Following his upset victory over Tony Ferguson in the main event of last night's UFC 249, Justin Gaethje is on a collision course with UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The dominant manner of Gaethje's fifth-round stoppage of Ferguson shocked many. One man that was not surprised, however, was Gaethje himself.
The man known as "The Highlight" even rejected the interim lightweight championship belt that was awarded to him after his win - telling Joe Rogan that he wanted to wait for the "real thing."
Gaethje expected to beat Ferguson - and believes he will beat Khabib when the two meet for the division's undisputed championship.
UFC president Dana White confirmed last night that Khabib wants to fight again as soon as this summer. Given the restrictions that are currently in place, it is almost certain that the Khabib vs Gaethje fight will take place on UFC's new "Fight Island".
For now, though, we will have to make do with a virtual simulation of the bout - and when the Khabib vs Gaethje clash was played out on EA's UFC 3 video game, there was a very decisive winner.
Lasting less than one round, Khabib easily slammed Gaethje down to the ground and pounded him out.
Of course, what happens when the pair clash for real could be very different from the outcome in the virtual Octagon. For one, Gaethje is continually evolving as a fighter, meaning that his in-game attributes no longer match up to the man himself.
Gaethje was sensational against Ferguson, landing huge right hands and leg kicks at will.
Before last night, Ferguson was unbeaten since May 2012 and rightly regarded as one of the top fighters in the sport. Gaethje, though, broke him down at will.
Indeed, the fight should arguably have been stopped earlier than it was - as only Ferguson's sheer toughness was keeping him in the bout by the end.
Khabib is unbeaten and a phenomenal fighter. With that said, if Gaethje can land the sort of shots on the champion that he did on Ferguson, then we could have a new lightweight king.
There is, though, also the possibility that the video game is right on the money. Khabib could wrestle Gaethje to the floor and beat him in short order. We just don't know - and that is the beauty of the sport of MMA.
It was great to have the Octagon back last night, as UFC 249 delivered from top to bottom. We can all expect some similarly great action when Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje meet to determine who is the best lightweight fighter in the world.
- Ferguson shoves Gaethje away after UFC 249 fight
- Khabib posts two tweets right after UFC 249
- Slow-mo footage of the punch that dropped Ferguson