Every Justin Gaethje fight in the UFC has been nothing short of magical. From back in the days of backflip victories in WSOF, MMA fandom hoped and prayed that Justin’s devil-may-care style would one day go against the most elite lightweights in the world. And for some reason, the MMA Gods chose to deliver in a huge way.
First the Michael Johnson fight and then the war with Eddie Alvarez gave “The Highlight” two Fight of the Year contenders in his first two fights with the most competitive promotion in MMA. And if you were worried that Justin Gaethje was going to change his style after suffering his first loss, watch Gaethje throw a rolling thunder with the grace and poise of a bird of prey taking flight.
I don’t want to take anything away from Dustin Poirier’s amazing performance, but Justin Gaethje is just such a special soul. It’s almost as if fighting Gaethje’s spirit is a mythical quest that certain UFC Lightweights will be called to conquer. In MMA’s toughest division, Justin Gaethje could become the most glorious gate-keeper the sport has ever seen. He could bring honor to the term.
In post-fight interviews after UFC Glendale, Gaethje said he thinks he has only five more fights before he retires. He reminded fans to come see him live, because every single one of them will be must see. I can only hope that the UFC lines up the five most interesting action-fighter lightweights and feeds them to Gaethje regardless of ranking. Having a fight against Justin Gaethje on your record should be a badge of honor in and of itself. He is the MMA Gods’ truly anointed fighter.
But give “The Diamond” his due, he rose to the occasion, put it on Gaethje, and put the toughest SOB in the division on stanky legs.