Justin Gaethje is arguably the most exciting fighter on the UFC roster. “The Highlight” is known for his high pace, forward pressure, brawling style. Born in Stafford, Arizona, he worked in a copper mine like his father. However, within a week, he left the job and continued his education.
Gaethje started his MMA career while he was still in University and put together a 7-0 amateur record. Gaethje made his professional MMA debut in 2011 and won after he slammed his opponent in the very first round. As of January 2021, he is ranked at #1 in UFC Lightweight rankings.
Gaethje signed with the UFC in 2017 and fought Michael Johnson. He broke Johnson down and stopped him in the second round. This fight put him on the radar of other UFC fighters.
Unfortunately, Gaethje’s fighting style caught up to him and elite lightweight fighters — Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez — handed him two back-to-back losses.
Justin Gaethje was undefeated for the majority of his career. After his two losses, many believed that he was done for. Yet he made a comeback and won against some of the best fighters like James Vick, Edson Barboza, Donald Cerrone, and Tony Ferguson.
On May 9, 2020, Gaethje fought Tony Ferguson for the interim lightweight championship. Gaethje ended Ferguson’s twelve-fight win streak and became the UFC’s interim lightweight champion. His last fight was against Khabib Nurmagomedov, where he lost the bout via technical submission at UFC 254.
Gaethje started wrestling when he was just four years old. While in school, he competed in wrestling tournaments. During his time in Stafford High School, Gaethje became Arizona State wrestling champion twice.
Gaethje then studied at the University of Northern Colorado. He qualified for the NCAA Division 1 championship. In 2010, he earned the D1 All American status.
As mentioned before, Gaethje is one of the most exciting mixed martial artists on the planet. However, he lacked technicality before. His brawling style cost him badly.
After his losses to Poirier and Alvarez, Gaethje changed his style to some extent. He now picks his shots carefully and does not throw caution to the wind. Fans now call him “Patienced Gaethje.”
Gaethje is yet to utilize offensive wrestling in his fights. Although he is a great wrestler, the American fighter does not use his wrestling. He only uses it to stuff takedown attempts by his opponents. He claimed that he gasses out faster if he uses his wrestling.
Gaethje still puts a high pace on his opponents. However, he times his shots well and does not burn himself out. Besides that, he has the most devastating leg kicks in the game. Overall, he is a well-rounded fighter with a powerful will that can fight anyone, anywhere.
As of now, his record stands at 22-3-0. Justin Gaethje has won nine bonuses in seven of his UFC fights. And he is the first fighter to win a bonus in his first seven fights. Apart from that, he was the first WSOF lightweight champion.
Gaethje also holds the record for the highest significant striking accuracy at 55.6%. Over the past few years, Gaethje has received several awards for his fights from other media houses.
Justin Gaethje has an estimated net worth of $4 million according to Celebrity Net Worth. ‘The Highlight’ earned his biggest paycheck after his win over Tony Ferguson at UFC 249. He earned a disclosed amount of $480,000 according to The Sports Daily. Gaethje has made a whopping $ 2,874,500 from his UFC career.
After he is done fighting, Gaethje wants to put his Human Services degree to good use. He has shown interest in working with at-risk youth.
In December 2019, Gaethje paid the lunch debt of the entire semester of all students of West Early College. According to the college’s Facebook post, Gaethje wrote a check of $1,538.00.
|Gym||Genesis Training Center, Elevation Fight Team|
|Weight/ Division||155 lbs, lightweight|
|Active Win Streak||0|
|Wins by Stoppages (Submissions/ KO)||20 (19 KO/TKO, 1 Submission)|
|Endorsements||Bulge Clothing, Saratoga Casinos, Gladiators Unleashed, Gains in Bulk, ONX Sports, Violent 1|
|Net Worth||$4 million|