Justin Gaethje dropped his World Series of Fighting lightweight title and never looked back, now he’s one fight into the UFC and is immediately within reach of a possible title shot. He lived up to all of his hype by dismantling Michael Johnson in a Fight of the Night and winning Performance of the Night. He’ll look to continue this trend of violence with former UFC lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez at UFC 218. If he finishes the former UFC lightweight champ the way he expects to, then he’ll expect nothing less than an opportunity for a belt.
“When I’m done, I’m going to be known as one of the most violent motherf-ckers in the sport. [And] The most entertaining. With that comes money for sure, especially with the UFC because they appreciate that effort. I give them max effort every time I step in there. The belt? I’m working towards that. I feel like I vacated a belt that I defended eight times, so I’m in the process of trying to get the one that I’m fighting for right now. It’s one fight at a time though and now I got to go out there, and it’s all about how you finish nowadays.”
— Scott Bond (@_ScottBond_) November 6, 2017
“There’s plenty of guys that have a claim at the title, but it’s all about who’s going to earn it and who’s going to finish. If I go out there and finish Eddie violently — the reason Conor McGregor is Conor McGregor is because he talks the way he does, he’s a genius, but he also knocked Jose Aldo out in 13-seconds, that helped a lot. Finishing everyone he’s finished helps a lot. Going in there, I just got to finish people. I go in there and I finish Eddie Alvarez like I know I can, and like I should, then whatever, it should be a number one contender spot and that’s what I’m fighting for. I vacated a belt so I expect nothing less than an opportunity at a belt.” — Justin Gaethje speaking to MMA Junkie radio.
You have to think if Justin Gaethje does manage to take out Eddie Alvarez, he’s right there at a title. The only problem is that Khabib Nurmagomedov is fighting Edson Barboza for a potential number one spot, Dustin Poirier just finished Anthony Pettis, and Conor McGregor’s next opponent is still undecided. As an undefeated fighter who defended his former championship belt multiple times then came in and took out a top ten lightweight like Michael Johnson, a win over Alvarez at least puts Gaethje as close as anyone of those guys. …And he won’t shy away from fighting at least one more of them to get some more gold around his waist.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 11/22/2017.