The stacked UFC lightweight division is now even stronger after the promotion signed World Series of Fighting lightweight champion Justin Gaethje.
Thank you for all the support to this point, I signed my contract with the UFC yesterday. It… https://t.co/M9jmnqCJmd
Although he was widely regarded as one of the top talents outside of the UFC, his level of competition has raised questions as to how well he might perform in the Octagon. Gaethe is 17-0 as a professional mixed martial artist with 15 of those wins coming by stoppage, however his most notable wins are over UFC veterans Melvin Guillard, Brian Foster and Drew Fickett.
Gaethje is known for his high-tempo, fan-friendly style and that’s what we saw in his most recent fight, a TKO victory over Luiz Firmino on New Year’s Eve.
@ufc Lets C one of the "big league boys" put me to sleep. I want the scariest lightweight possible first. This 0 has to go! Contract signed
It’s unclear when Gaethe will make his UFC debut, nor do we know his first opponent. It’s possible Gaethe gets a top-10 foe right off the bat although. When former Bellator lightweight champions Eddie Alvarez and Will Brooks made their UFC debuts they faced established stars, Donald Cerrone and Ross Pearson, respectively.
“It feels good to know the sacrifices my family and I have made since starting wrestling at four years old, have led us to these great endeavors,” Gaethe wrote in an Instagram post. “My parents spent their hard earned money, love, and energy to ensure I got the chance to put this hard work to fruition and I'll be damned if I don't give it 100%. Now I get a chance to fight and be the best in the world at something.
“It won't last long and I may or may not be successful, but I do know I would not be here without having parents which showed me through their actions that hard work is not easy, who loved and believed in me everyday.”