Jon Anik explains why Justin Gaethje defeating Dustin Poirier was the “perfect” result for Ilia Topuria

By Harry Kettle - August 2, 2023

UFC commentator Jon Anik has explained why Justin Gaethje’s win over Dustin Poirier was a great result for Ilia Topuria.

Ilia Topuria and Alex Volkanovski

Last weekend at UFC 291, Justin Gaethje was able to defeat Dustin Poirier via knockout. In doing so, many believe he set himself up for a UFC lightweight title shot. Of course, Charles Oliveira is getting the next crack at Islam Makhachev in October, but Gaethje may well be waiting for the winner.

In many ways, that may serve as bad news for Alexander Volkanovski. The featherweight king has been itching to get another crack at Makhachev and the lightweight title, but this likely pushes him further down the pecking order.


So, in the mind of Jon Anik, that’s good news for Ilia Topuria as he continues to pursue the gold at 145 pounds.

“Initially I was thinking, Alexander Volkanovski, this result with Justin Gaethje is maybe not a great result for him in terms of the pecking order for his rematch with Islam Makhachev,” Anik said. “I think if I’m Ilia Topuria, the result with Justin Gaethje is perfect because I’m probably going to get Alexander Volkanovski next. That’s not informed speculation, it’s total speculation – but I think that’s the direction in which they will go.”

Anik backs Topuria & Gaethje

“If Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira are 1-1 that would open the door for a trilogy, but I think Justin Gaethje is the guy who people believe is the most watchable, the most exciting,” Anik said. “I’m not sure how that plays itself out at the pay-per-view window or in terms of the internal metric, but I would think as a promoter, you’d try to get Justin Gaethje in an undisputed title fight because of just how incredible he is. The fanbase really seems to resonate with him. He seems to move every needle. I would think they would be trying to rush Justin Gaethje into a title fight.”

Quotes via MMA Junkie

Do you agree with Jon Anik? Let us know, BJPENN Nation!


Alex Volkanovski Ilia Topuria Jon Anik Justin Gaethje UFC