Knockout monster's refreshingly honest prediction perfectly sums up why everyone's excited for his UFC debut
If you don't know who Justin Gaethje is, you're about to find out.
UFC's lightweight division may be without its champion right now, but the talent pool of the promotion's most-populated weight class keeps on getting deeper.
Eddie Alvarez, Will Brooks and Gilbert Melendez all signed for the UFC's 155 lb division as already established champions, and Gaethje followed in their footsteps this week, putting pen to paper after coming over as WSOF king.
Although he has yet to receive an opponent or a date for his debut, the hype is already building around the undefeated knockout artist. A staggering record of 17 fights, 17 wins, 14 knockouts and one submission will do that.
Thank you for all the support to this point, I signed my contract with the UFC yesterday. It… https://t.co/M9jmnqCJmd
— Justin Gaethje 🇺🇸 (@Justin_Gaethje) May 4, 2017
However, it isn't just the pristine professional record that has seen Gaethje become a fan-favourite, it's the manner in which he competes. Gaethje embodies the 'kill or be killed' attitude more than anyone else in the game, implementing a high-risk, massively entertaining style for the crowd's approval, as he explained on Monday's MMA Hour.
"I'm an entertainer and I'm a violent motherfucker. You guys love violence, and that's what you're going to get."
"I believe in physics that when two objects have the same mass it comes down to force and whichever object has the most force, then that's the object that's going to win the car crash. I go into fights and I create car crashes and I plan on being the object with the most force. My timing and my attitude is why I've been successful so far. I'm not going to change."
He sees the sport of MMA as a matter of centimetres and milliseconds, requiring skill, luck and perseverance to reach the summit. That approach has worked very well for him at WSOF and despite graduating to the big leagues where he faces a serious step up in competition, he doesn't plan on taking fewer risks.
He's prepared to come up short. In fact, he's sounds like he's actually looking forward to finding someone who can not only beat him up, but embarrass him in front of the masses.
"I want the scariest fight possible... I've been saying I'm the best fighter in the world for a long time. I'm up here standing on a pedestal in front of the world, ready to fall flat on my face. I want the scariest dude, the one who can embarrass me the most. That's what I'm looking for, it's simple."
Class act https://t.co/8FamBRfFg9
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) May 9, 2017
Gaethje's looking for the toughest tests possible and he's found the right place for that. He wants to fight the Fergusons, the Khabibs, the Barbozas and the Johnsons. He wants to fight a Brazilian fighter in the Lion's Den while the impassioned support shower him with an ominous chorus of 'Uh Vai Morrer' - English translation: you're going to die. He doesn't know if he would be able to handle that, which is the 'shit' he 'freakin' loves.
Aware of all the unknowns surrounding his ability in comparison to the world's elite, Gaethje is realistic about his career trajectory. Although he's going to take things one fight at a time, he did offer one prediction that few fighters have the balls to make.
"I'm not promising success. I promise you that I will get knocked out within the next like 10 fights, because it's a game of freakin' centimetres and fractions of seconds, Ariel! I mean, come on!"
Refreshingly honest and yet another declaration that he's not going to change his uber-exciting style. That's exactly why the new audience that comes with fighting in the UFC are going to enjoy what they see from Gaethje inside the Octagon.