Former World Series of Fighting lightweight champ Justin Gaethje is not impressed by his UFC Lincoln opponent James Vick. In fact, he finds Vick so unimpressive that he says he’d be hard-pressed not to retire from MMA if he loses to Vick in Lincoln.
“I’m so much better than James Vick,” Gaethje said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA show (transcribed by Adam Guillen Jr. for MMA Mania). “It sucks to say it, but if I was to go out there and get outclassed by James Vick, I’d have to hang them up.”
“He’s not good, he’s slow,” Gaethje added. “I’m talking if I go out and get outclassed. If he outclasses me and beats me in every aspect of this game, then yeah, something is not good.”
Gaethje then elaborated, stating that in order to actually consider retirement, he’d have to be soundly beaten by Vick in every facet of the game.
“I’m not saying… I don’t know, you know how this game works, and we fly high on emotions,” he said. “Everything you get from us is coming from an emotional aspect. Like I said, if I was to run into a knee and get knocked out, no that’s not what [I mean]. If he outclasses me, then I would be so disappointed in myself.”
To Gaethje, it seems unlikely that James Vick will bring anything to table that his three previous opponents — a murderers row of Michael Johnson, Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier — brought to the table.
“He talks a lot of shit and I have no respect for him,” Gaethje said of Vick. “He’s never fought a Michael Johnson, Eddie Alvarez or a Dustin Poirier. He can call me whatever he wants, but I fought the best of the best my first three fights in UFC.”
“This is my third of four fights being the main event,” he added. “When [Vick] wants to talk about levels, those are the levels he needs to talk about, and he’s not on my level.”
What do you think of Justin Gaethje’s comments on James Vick?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/4/2018.