Former WSOF lightweight champion Justin Gaethje left with no opponent when Al Iaquinta says he’s not fighting Justin in the main event of UFC Fight Night 135 on Aug 25 in Lincoln, Nebraska last week.
Without wasting any time, the promotion officially announced that James Vick would step in for Iaquinta to fight Gaethje, was initially scheduled to face Paul Felder at UFC Boise on July 14.
After a six-year of a successful undefeated run, Gaethje is on two-fight losing skid, with most recently coming off a fourth-round TKO loss to Dustin Poirier at Glendale in May, looking to add a win when he meets James Vick. Gaethje adds, if James outclassed him, he would hang up his gloves for good.
“I’m so much better than James Vick. It sucks to say it, but if I was to go out there and get outclassed by James Vick, I’d have to hang them up,” Gaethje said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA show on ESPN (via MMA Mania). “He’s not good, he’s slow,” he added. “I’m talking if I go out and get outclassed. If he outclasses me and beats me in every aspect of this game, then yeah, something is not good.”
“I’m not saying, I don’t know, you know how this game works and we fly high on emotions,” he continued. “Everything you get from us is coming from an emotional aspect. Like I said, if I was to run into a knee and get knocked out, no that’s not what, if he outclasses me then I would be so disappointed in myself.”
Vick is on a four-fight winning streak and has gone 9-1 since joining the UFC back in 2013. Most recently, he defeated Francisco Trinaldo by unanimous decision at UFC Austin. James poses a danger through his high skill sets, but that doesn’t bother Gaethje. As ‘The Highlight’ isn’t too fond of Vick’s approach to a fight, believes he’s a low life and plans to knock him out cold.
“He talks a lot of shit, and I have no respect for him,” Gaethje said of Vick. “He’s never fought a Michael Johnson, Eddie Alvarez or a Dustin Poirier. He can call me whatever he wants, but I fought the best of the best my first three fights in UFC.”
“This is my third of four fights being the main event. When he wants to talk about levels, those are the levels he needs to talk about, and he’s not on my level.”
“I’m not invincible, I know I am not, some guys like to go in there with the utmost confidence in themselves and I know that this sport is unforgiving and I can run into a knee, but, I am going to clean his clock,” said Gaethje. “I will not be content if he does not see his feet for at least one minute after I land a huge right hand on him. I won’t be satisfied unless he’s out cold.”
Gaethje had won his first 18 professional fights with all but three coming by way of knockout (KO). UFC Lincoln is set to take place Saturday, August 25th, live on Fox Sports 1.