There’s no doubt that, after just three fights under the UFC banner, Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje is already one of the most exciting fighters on the roster.
After a Fight of the Night (FOTN) classic with Michael Johnson in his promotional debut, Gaethje was awarded with two more FOTN bonuses at UFC 218 and UFC on FOX 29, but lost the latter fights to Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier.
The former World Series of Fighting lightweight champion will now look to do battle with budding prospect James Vick, who called Gaethje ‘the Homer Simpson of MMA’ at the UFC’s 25th anniversary press conference.
Gaethje will look to prove that he is much more than just a punching bag at UFC Fight Night 135, telling MMANytt’s Damon Martin on Tuesday that his goal is to become champion.
In fact, when Gaethje no longer has that burning drive to capture the UFC lightweight title, the 29-year-old will hang up the gloves and call it a career.
“100-percent. When that’s not my goal, I will retire,” Gaethje said. “I want to be the best. I want to be the best in the world.”
When asked about Vick’s derogatory comments over being a ‘B’ league fighter, Gaethje cited his back and forth battles with divisional standouts Alvarez and Poirier and said ‘The Texecutioner’ has no idea what he’s talking about.
“If you watch the fights, you have to understand how close either one of us were to getting the ‘W’ and finishing that fight,” Gaethje said. “For James Vick to sit here and say I’m a ‘B’ league fighter and I don’t deserve the accolades that I’m getting — the bonuses, the main events — they guy just doesn’t get it.
UFC Fight Night: Gaethje vs. Vick takes place this Saturday, August 25 at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska.