Former WSOF lightweight champion Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje (18-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) came in the UFC with a lot of hype. He proved the hype was real after finishing Michael Johnson on his debut in a ‘Fight of the Year’ fight.
However with two brutal losses in a row after that, Gaethje finds his back against the wall, with possible retirement implications. Gaethje did showed some positive signs in his losses but eventually got TKO’ed by Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier in third and fourth round respectively.
Speaking in an interview with FloCombat, Gaethje said he’s working on adding fear to his ever forward brawling style.
“Really, what I’ve been focused on is not becoming too complacent and not having too much fun out there,” Gaethje told FloCombat. “Right before that knee [against Alvarez], I landed some huge uppercuts and I got too relaxed. In my mind, he was going away and you cannot do that at this level, especially against guys like Eddie Alvarez. Same thing happened with Dustin [Poirier]. I should have learned my lesson, but I get in there and I get too comfortable.
”I need to go in there and I need to be scared at all times. I need to understand that it can happen with one shot and that one shot can happen at any time, especially when I’m fighting guys in the top 10 of the UFC. So just staying focused, staying vigilant in my positions has really been my focus in this camp.”
Gaethje takes on #10 ranked James Vick in the main event of Fight Night 135 in Lincoln, Nebraska.