A bit of confusion has surfaced surrounding one of the best fighters outside of the UFC.
One of the hottest free agents in the sport may be free to field other offers, as Ariel Helwani at MMA Fighting has reported that according to multiple sources, WSOF lightweight champion Justin Gaethje is a free agent.
Or at least that seemed to have been the case, as the news was reported by Helwani and met with a rebuttal on Twitter by WSOF president Ray Sefo. Sefo immediately pumped the brakes on the assertion that Gaethje is indeed a free agent, as noted below:
Ariel you should check with your sources before tweeting because Justin isn’t a free agent… https://t.co/aAGZcPPODN
— Ray Sefo (@SugarRaySefo) March 29, 2017
Interestingly, the initial report from this stems from Damon Martin over at FoxSports.com, but there was no response from Sefo to him regarding the matter.
This would be the third WSOF champion to leave the organization for greener pastures as David Branch has recently returned to the UFC and Marlon Moraes appears to be close to signing a deal with the UFC as well. Branch is scheduled to make his return against Krzysztof Jotko at UFC 211.
Of course, Gaethje status as a free agent needs to be clarified before anything else.
Gaethje is still undefeated in his professional career at 17-0, with ten of those wins being in World Series of Fighting. He has held their lightweight title since 2014, when he defeated Richard Patishnock by TKO at WSOF 8 and hasn’t looked back since. He participated in two of the most dynamic fights in the organization’s history against Luis Palomino, most notably in their first encounter in 2015. Gaethjehas also faced and defeated Nick Newell, Brian Foster, Luiz Firmino, and former UFC mainstay Melvin Guillard. While known for being a risk-taker, he would be a very welcome addition to any organization that signs him should he end up leaving WSOF.
But at least he finally has a Wikipedia page in English this time.