Justin Gaethje doesn’t think he can be denied as the most entertaining mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter of all time.
Before becoming a perennial top Lightweight contender in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the previously undefeated Gaethje was delivering highlight-worthy performances in abundance as World Series of Fighting (WSOF) champion. The trend continued upon his July 2017 UFC arrival against Michael Johnson, earning a second-round technical knockout win and Fight of the Year honors come the year’s end.
The Johnson victory would be Gaethje’s first of three Fight of the Year winners or contenders in his UFC run. In eight of his 10 fights, “The Highlight” has received a performance bonus, which he intends on earning again this weekend (Sat., March 18, 2023) at UFC 286 against Rafael Fiziev.
“I’m the most exciting fighter that has ever stepped foot in that Octagon in the history of this sport. Of course, I pride myself in that,” Gaethje said at UFC 286 media day. “I don’t just believe it, you believe it, you all believe that. You know it to be true. It’s not on purpose, it’s just who I am, how I compete. I’m cut from this cloth, as they say.”
Gaethje’s upcoming clash with the surging Fiziev will be his first fight since losing his title opportunity against Charles Oliveira in May 2022 (watch highlights). When it comes to other names to include in the entertainment discussion alongside Gaethje, he sees potential in his next challenge.
“If Fiziev keeps it going, he’ll be up there pretty soon,” Gaethje said. “My most exciting fights that I remember is Anderson Silva back in the day and Jon Jones going through the TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) era.”
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 286 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN2/ESPN+ at 3 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 286: “Edwards vs. Usman 3” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.
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