Hernandez turned heads throughout the sport this past March, when he made his Octagon debut against Beneil Dariush, and proceeded to knockout the contender in less than 60 seconds. This past July, Hernandez faced Olivier Aubin-Mercier, and “The Great” battled his way to a decision win over the talented Canadian.
So what’s next for “The Great”? Well, recently Hernandez spoke with MMA Junkie, and while doing so, he delivered this call out:
“Right now it’s Gaethje – that’s the guy who is available,” Hernandez said. “Everybody else is booked up. I would love to take out that guy. I know I’m the best and I have to beat all these men to get to the top. I’m not going to discriminate against anybody; it doesn’t matter their name, shape or style. I just want a number.”
“I’ll leave my foot in his ass(expletive) – that’s the only piece of myself I’ll leave behind,” Hernandez said. “Our fight would either be a complete highlight-reel for me or it would be like all his other fights where it’s certainly a brutal match. I think I can approach this fight more intelligently and stylistically diverse than his other opponents. I can make it a highlight-reel for myself. I have a ton of respect for the guy, I know he’s dangerous as (expletive) so it could be a brutal war.”
Yikes. Now, on paper, this is a fight that looks extremely promising, and there’s no doubt that a lot of hardcore fans would like to see it. But will it happen?
While it’s true that Gaethje’s not booked for a fight, it would be kind of surprising if the former WSOF champ jumped on this. Gaethje is ranked #6 and Hernandez is #12. So, the ridiculously, rugged star would have little to gain by facing the rising Hernandez.
Plus, Gaethje is coming off an electrifying, knockout win over James Vick in August, to end a two fight losing skid. If, Gaethje was coming off a loss, then he’d have less bargaining power with the UFC, and so, and a bout with Hernandez would make more sense in that scenario.
So, one would think Gaethje’s going to wait on the sidelines and see what plays out in the coming months with the division’s top five ranked fighters. But, you never know. Maybe the UFC will take a look at this, and make it worthwhile for Gaethje with some extra cash?