Justin Gaethje is a unique kind of fighter, the rare all-action guy that has still managed to maintain an undefeated record. Some would say that’s because he’s never fought in the UFC, where the best fighters in the world are. Well, the former WSOF lightweight champ will have his chance after he signed with the promotion, and will make his debut against Michael Johnson at the TUF 25 Finale.
In a recent interview on The MMA Hour, Gaethje said he couldn’t make any guarantees about how his UFC run will go, but he did make one humorous promise, even if he didn’t seem to mean it as a joke:
“I’m not promising anything. I’m not promising success. I’m not promising that. I’ll promise you that I will get knocked out here in the next, like, 10 fights, because it’s a game of freakin’ centimeters and fractions of seconds. Come on I’ve watched every single one of my fights in slow motion, and I live. I beat you to the time. I beat you to the punch. I’m in your face, and you can’t breathe. Not for a second will you be able to breathe.”
He also explained his style, but made it clear that he’s not a big fan of just getting punched in the face:
“I love reading comments online,” Gaethje said. “I’m 17-0 with 14 knockouts. That ‘0’ says something. That means that I haven’t been hit hard enough. So, you’ve seen Michael Bisping get freakin’ flying H-bombed from Dan ‘Hendo’ and he comes back. The human body, it’s very fragile, but we can take some damage.
“I’m not here to take damage. I don’t want to not be able to talk. Every single time I fight, I know that ... this could be the last time that you’re able to do this, the last time you’re able to talk. You never know what’s going to happen and I think about that every single time I’m in the cage, and I wrap my whole life around that one fight that I have coming up, that right now there is nothing that matters.”
“You can say the competition isn’t stiff, but go look at the combined record of my opponents,” Gaethje said. “It’s somewhere like 180-50. So I fight people who can fight. I’ve fought warriors. I’ve fought people who should’ve went down when I hit them, and they didn’t. But I’m from a small town, a copper mining family. We work hard, and I’ve got nothing to lose here.”