Justin Gaethje on retirement from MMA: “I would say I have at least five more fights”

Justin Gaethje, Conor McGregor

Justin Gaethje says he’ll fight at least five more times before he hangs up the gloves, but it sounds like he could compete well beyond that.

Gaethje is slated to challenge Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight title in the main event of UFC 254 this Saturday. If he wins, it’ll be the biggest win of his career, and it will cement him as one of the great lightweights of an era.

From the sounds of it, however, his work is far from done.

Speaking to TMZ Sports ahead of his fight with Nurmagomedov, he said that he has at least five more fights in him.

“There are a lot of factors that are going to go into that,” Gaethje said. “After I fought [Dustin] Poirier, I said I have five more wars [in me]—I haven’t had one since. So I would say I have at least five more fights.”

Gaethje then clarified that he has five more wars in him—emphasizing that decisive victories like his recent triumphs over James Vick, Edson Barboza, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Tony Ferguson don’t count.

“Five wars—if they’re not wars, they don’t count,” he said. “As long as they’re paying me what they’re paying me, I’m probably going to fight until I do not believe I can be the best in the world anymore. I’m not going to hold on past that time.”

Justin Gaethje is known for his appetites for violence and all-out wars. He’s hoping he’ll be able to indulge those appetites in the cage this weekend.

“I’m looking forward to that feeling,” he said. “I chase that feeling. That’s why I don’t buy motorcycles, cause I will die. That’s why I do a lot of things, to keep from putting myself in positions where I could be in danger, cause once it starts, it’s balls to the wall.”

How much longer do you think Gaethje will continue fighting?