18 wins. 15 finishes. No equal for six years. That is, until Justin Gaethje ended up meeting former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez. It was the bloody war that the UFC and those two savages promised us. There was no gold on the line, but the added stipulation of an unofficial violence title up for grabs was taken deadly serious. After a performance full of grit and pure determination, his granite chin finally gave out with a brutal knee. Any other fighter would be kicking himself, but not Justin Gaethje. He’d rather go out like that than lose by a decision any day, which should come at no surprise to anyone.
“I’m glad I got knocked out instead of going to a decision and losing because that’s not the way I want to lose. I’m happy with my performance. I feel like I won because I tried so hard. My preparation was there and ultimately I went out and did what I go to do and that’s entertain people and entertain myself really. And I had fun. I did some major damage to [Eddie Alvarez’s] lead leg in that first round. He did a good job of putting his hands on me but definitely didn’t do a lot of damage. He definitely beat me in that second round and in the third round, I thought it was a close fight. If it would have went to the scorecards, I’m sure he would have got it because of the takedown or something and he was a little bit more active with punches but I cause a lot of damage when I do land my strikes and it’s hard to judge that.”
Started wrestling at 4. I’ve lost before and I will lose again. It is the nature of the beast. I love what I do and the people I do it with. Thank you for all the love and support. On to the next one. pic.twitter.com/0w0UkPcEnR
— Justin Gaethje 🇺🇸 (@Justin_Gaethje) December 8, 2017
“With the way I fight, the UFC’s not stupid. For one, they probably know that they’re don’t have me forever. I’m not gonna be around. They don’t have but six to seven more fights out of me. I believe that I’m one of the top competitors in this division in the world, so I’m gonna keep fighting people at the top of the division for right now. I definitely would have wanted to call someone out ahead of me had I won this fight but since I lost I don’t think I have that position anymore. But they’re not gonna make me fight someone way back there. From a business standpoint, of course I’m not gonna fight someone that’s unranked or something like that. I think I’m on the same page as the UFC right now and luckily, one loss doesn’t kill you. Two or three does so I’ve got to go out there, and get a big win in my next fight, it doesn’t matter who it’s against.” — Justin Gaethje speaking to MMA Tonight on SiriusXM Rush.
Not only is that just a wild mindset to have, but Justin Gaethje warned us long ago and keeps warning us that he’ll get knocked out. He and the UFC knows that his style and head only has so many miles on it, so they’re willing to invest on that as much as they can. It’s hard to think that Gaethje won’t get another big name in his next fight, but regardless people are going to tune in and watch him even if he’s fighting the local garbage man. He belongs to a very rare group of fighters and we should enjoy him as long as he’s around and competitive.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 12/14/2017.