UFC fans on alert as undefeated world lightweight champion enters free agency
You can never have enough elite lightweights.
Sure, the 155 lb division is the promotion's most populated and arguably its most stacked division, but the UFC have been known to go after the big dogs from other organisations to help strengthen it.
Eddie Alvarez, Will Brooks and Gilbert Melendez all signed for the world's largest MMA promotion as already established champions, and now fans are calling for WSOF champion Justin Gaethje to follow in their footsteps. Fox Sports broke the news on Tuesday that Gaethje's contract with the promotion had concluded and he's now testing free agency.
If you've never heard of the top lightweight before, there's a few things worth noting. Firstly, the 28-year-old's record is insane. His 17-0 professional record looks more like that of a top boxer and just to put that into perspective, Khabib Nurmagomedov signed for the UFC unbeaten in 16 bouts. The difference being, Gaethje has only heard the final buzzer twice in his life, while he has 14 knockouts and a submission to his name.
The other reason why Gaethje has such a following in the fight community is because he's so damn exciting. The biggest criticism you'll hear is that his high-risk game leaves him susceptible to getting hit and therefore more likely to lose against a competent fighter, but he has yet to taste defeat so far.
— Hero_Without_A_Cape (@Shaun_Gilday) January 2, 2017
It isn't known yet which promotions will try to snap Gaetje up, or what his current employers are doing to re-sign him, but as soon as that 'free agency' term came into the picture, UFC fans started getting excited.
I really want to see Justin Gaethje in the UFC. This guy is an amazing fighter. https://t.co/v5OvXjQcU1
— Adam Martin (@MMAdamMartin) March 27, 2017
Gaethje's brand of fighting would certainly win UFC brass and UFC fans over https://t.co/kA6JhWb58z
— Michael Stets (@Michael_Stets) March 28, 2017
Justin Gaethje officially a free agent now. Who gets him? UFC? Bellator? Or maybe somebody else.
— Hater Bets DGF (@BigToneTrader) March 28, 2017
— Matthew Gaither (@TheMMAMatthew) March 28, 2017