When Brian Foster finally meets World Series of Fighting lightweight champion Justin Gaethje at WSOF 29, he knows exactly what type of challenge he is facing. Gaethje may not be a household name, but he remains one of the most talented lightweights outside of the UFC ranks, an undefeated tank of a man who lives by the gospel of forward pressure and ultra-aggression. Gaethje fights are exciting simply because the 27-year-old thrives within chaos like few in this sport.
But that type of style comes with a cost.
Gaethje has never been much of a defensive fighter, however things reached a different level in 2015, when the Arizona native waged back-to-back wars of attrition against Luis Palomino — and ate seemingly five years worth of strikes in the process. Now, with Gaethje’s fourth title defense set for Saturday night, Foster can’t help but wonder how, and when, all of that damage is going to start affecting a fighter who should otherwise be entering his physical prime.
“I’ve heard it from the higher-ups, the only reason they (other promotions) haven’t reached out to snag him is because of that fact,” Foster said. “I’d rather not [elaborate] on that, but I’ve heard from some of the higher-ups that’s the reason why they haven’t reached out and snagged his ass, because he takes too much damage. He flirts with disaster out there. You flirt with brain damage.
“I’ve been down that path and have received nowhere near the damage that young man has received, only because I don’t put myself in that position. Yes, stepping forward is very scary. But stepping forward, stepping into that damage, taking that damage to inflict it, in my mind, shows one dimension.”
The criticism is one that Gaethje has heard before, and though the WSOF lightweight champion remains ….View full article
Source:: mma fighting