Justin "The Highlight" Gaethje is a former UFC Interim Lightweight Champion with a professional record of 23 wins and 4 losses. Gaethje is currently ranked #3 in the UFC Lightweight rankings.
At UFC 286, which took place on 18th March 2023 in London, Justin Gaethje defeated Rafael Fiziev in an explosive fight via unanimous decision.
Justin Gaethje started wrestling at the age of 4 and continued it in high school, where he became a two-time state champion with a record of 191-9.
Gaethje would get into MMA during his freshman year at college and make his amateur debut in 2008, which he won via KO Slam. Gaethje amassed an amateur record of 7-0 before going professional and making his debut at ROF 41 which he won. Gaethje then went on a 7-fight win streak in the regional circuit before signing up with the World Series of Fighting.
Justin would remain undefeated at The World Series of Fighting and would win and defend the WSOF Lightweight title 5 times before vacating it to join the UFC in 2017.
Gaethje made his UFC debut in July 2018 against Michael Johnson at The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption Finale. Gaethje would win the encounter via TKO(punches and knees). After the bout, Gaethje would become a coach at The Ultimate Fighter 26 against Eddie Alvarez with both fighters scheduled to fight at the end of the show.
Gaethje would be defeated for the first time in his professional MMA career at UFC 218 as Alvarez KO''ed the Highlight in the third round. Gaethje's losing streak would continue as he got TKO'ed by Dustin Poirier in the 4th round at UFC on Fox 29.
Gaethje bounced back from his losses as he KO'ed James Vick in the first round via punches at UFC Fight Night 135. He would follow this up with victories over Edson Barboza and Donald Cerrone before fighting for the Interim UFC Lightweight Championship on short notice against Tony Ferguson.
Gaethje outclassed Tony in the fight and was winning on the judges' scorecard before he knocked out Ferguson in the fifth round to Tony's 12 Fight win streak and win, the Interim Lightweight Championship. Gaethje later fought Khabib to unify the UFC Lightweight Championship at UFC 254. He would lose the fight in the second round due to Technical Submission(Triangle Choke). This would be Gaethje's third loss in professional MMA.
Gaethje returned to the Octagon after a year to fight Michael Chandler at UFC 268. He won the back-and-forth barnburner fight against Chandler via unanimous decision.
On March 18, 2023, Gaethje faced off in a high-octane fight against Rafael Fiziev, which he won via a unanimous decision.
Justin Gaethje fought Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 on short notice for the UFC Interim Lightweight Championship. Gaethje outclassed Ferguson in the encounter in terms of striking (143- 136 significant strikes) and was winning the fight unanimously on the judges' scorecard before he knocked Ferguson in the fifth round with a punch to the head to become the UFC Interim Champion and end Ferguson's 12-fight win streak in the UFC.
Justin Gaethje and Khabib Nurmagomedov fought at UFC 254 to unify the UFC Lightweight Championship. Gaethje won the first round of the fight on the judges' scorecard but, the momentum would shift in the second round when Nurmagomedov gained ground control. Khabib would make short work of Gaethje and put him in a triangle-choke resulting in Gaethje passing out and losing the fight via technical Submission.
Justin Gaethje fought Michael Chandler at UFC 268. The fight started with Gathje hammering in his leg kicks and Chandler looking to rock Gaethje with some heavy strikes. In the first round, Chandler hammered Gaethje with strong punches followed by a flying knee to cause him to wobble. Gaethje countered this by grappling with Chandler to halt his aggression and then used his striking prowess to pummel Chandlers with some nasty uppercuts before the end of the round.
Justin began to gain the upper hand in the second round as he got dropped Chandler with a stiff uppercut. Michael defended well in the grounded position as he got hold of a Gaethje leg and eventually stood back up on his feet after receiving some ground-and-pound punches.
In the third round, Gaethje continued his dominance as he connected with a lot more punches and leg kicks. Chandler was able to takedown Gaethje but, Gathje reversed it and got control of Chandler's back before letting go. In the end, the decision went to the judge's scorecard that was in favor of Justin Gaethje as he won the fight via unanimous decision.
Justin Gaethje holds a professional MMA record of 24 wins and 4 losses (24-4).
Justin Gaethje is nicknamed "The Highlight".
Justin Gaethje is currently ranked #3 in the UFC Lightweight Rankings.
Last Updated On 19th March 2023