Justin Gaethje made the most of his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut at the Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 25 Finale earlier this year by knocking out Michael Johnson in one of the most exciting fights of the year (video highlights here).
He even impressed current Lightweight champion, Conor McGregor.
Now, “The Highlight” will look to keep it going when he faces off against opposing TUF 26 coach Eddie Alvarez at UFC 218 on Dec. 2, 2017. So why is Alvarez facing Justin instead of taking part in a rematch against Dustin Poirier after the controversial ending to their fight at UFC 211?
It’s all due to the fact that UFC is trying to push Justin into the spotlight at his expense.
“When UFC wants something, they get it, you know what I mean? If they want you to fight, you’re going to fight they want you to fight. There is not much of a negotiation going on there, especially with me,” said Eddie during a recent interview on UFC Unfiltered.
“I am pretty easy going, I’m not the type of guy that’s like, I want this guy, I want that guy. I don’t think UFC wanted that (Poirier) fight, they liked Justin Gaethje, they want to move him and they want to use my name to move him. But guess what? I have other intentions, know what I mean? I get the game, I know how it works and I have been on the other side of it as a young kid coming up, so I see what they want to do, and that’s the fun part of this,” he concluded.
Ask and you shall receive.
Alvarez looks to get back on the winning track against Gaethje after he coughed up his 155-pound strap to McGregor at UFC 205 last year. It’s a tough task to say the least, as Justin has yet to tasted defeat in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career, going 18-0 so far.
The winner of the much-anticipated 155-pound scrap will likely set himself up for a shot at the division strap, but will have to wait a while as Tony Ferguson and Kevin lee are set to duke it out for the interim title at UFC 216 in a couple of weeks.
As for Poirier, he has his own hands full as he has been booked to face off against ex-division champion Anthony Pettis at the upcoming UFC Fight Night 120 event on Nov. 11, 2017 in Norfolk, Virginia.