Justin Gaethje

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Justin Gaethje
Born Justin Ray Gaethje[1]
(1988-11-14) November 14, 1988 (age 29)
Safford, Arizona, United States
Other names The Highlight
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight 156 lb (71 kg; 11.1 st)
Division Lightweight (145–155 Ib)
Reach 70 in (180 cm)
Stance Orthodox
Fighting out of Arvada, Colorado, United States
Team Genesis Training Center (2016–present)
Grudge Training Center (2011–2016)
Trainer Trevor Wittman[2]
Wrestling NCAA Division I Wrestling[3]
Years active 2011–present
Mixed martial arts record
Total 20
Wins 18
By knockout 15
By submission 1
By decision 2
Losses 2
By knockout 2
Amateur record
Total 7
Wins 7
By knockout 4
By submission 2
Losses 0
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Justin Ray Gaethje (/ˈɡi/; born November 14, 1988) is an American professional mixed martial artist who fights in the Lightweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). He is #6 in the UFC Lightweight rankings as of December 2017. He is known for his crazy throw down style and ability to take damage.[4]

Born in Safford, Arizona, Gaethje began wrestling when he was 4 years old. He was a two-time Arizona state champion as a wrestler at Safford High School, and a NCAA Division I All-American wrestler during his time at the University of Northern Colorado. He began his amateur MMA career while in college, turned professional in 2011 and joined the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) in 2013, where he became Lightweight Champion. He defended his WSOF belt five times before vacating it to join the UFC in 2017.

Personal life[edit]

Gaethje was born on November 14, 1988 in Safford, Arizona. His mother, Carolina (née Espinoza), is of Mexican descent; his father, John Ray Gaethje, is of German descent.[5][6] His mother was a postmaster while his father was a copper miner, as were both of his grandfathers. His paternal grandfather boxed while in the Army.[7] He has a twin brother, Marcus John Gaethje, who has worked at the Morenci Mine since he was 18.[6] Outside of MMA, Gaethje once spent a summer working at the Morenci Mine, and holds a bachelor's degree in Human Services; he has stated his intention to do social work with at-risk youth in the future.[8]

Wrestling[edit]

High school[edit]

Gaethje began wrestling at the age of four,[9] and attended Safford High School,[10] where he was a four-time finalist and two-time Arizona state champion as a wrestler.[11]

Collegiate[edit]

Gaethje wrestled for the University of Northern Colorado. As a junior, he placed 7th in the 2010 NCAA Division I 157 lb Championship and became the first (and only, as of 2017) Northern Colorado athlete to attain All-American status since the school joined Division I in 2006.[8][12] He dropped down to the 149 lb division for his senior year, but had struggles with weight cutting.[13] Gaethje also wrestled with a number of mixed martial artists such as Georges St-Pierre during his collegiate years.[14]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Gaethje began his amateur MMA career during his studies at the University of Northern Colorado. He amassed a 7–0 amateur record before making his professional debut on August 20, 2011 against Kevin Croom. Gaethje won the fight in the first round via KO due to a slam after his opponent attempted a submission.[15]

World Series of Fighting[edit]

He was signed by the World Series of Fighting on January 22, 2013, and made his debut at WSOF 2 against Gesias Cavalcante, finishing the fight in the first round through TKO (doctor stoppage) after opening a cut above Cavalcante's left eye.[16]

At WSOF 3 he fought Brian Cobb, eventually winning via TKO from leg kicks in the third round.[17]

Afterwards, he fought Dan Lauzon at WSOF 6, finishing Lauzon with a right uppercut in the second round.[18]

Gaethje headlined WSOF 8 against Richard Patishnock and became the inaugural WSOF Lightweight Champion after dispatching Patishnock in the first round via TKO.[19]

His first title defense was at WSOF 11 against Nick Newell.[20] Gaethje won the fight with a right hook TKO in the second round.[21]

On November 15, 2014, Gaethje faced UFC veteran and former training partner Melvin Guillard at WSOF 15.[22] The fight was ruled a non-title contest after Guillard missed weight. Gaethje won the bout via split decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29).[23]

He then went on to fight Luis Palomino at WSOF 19, Gaethje beat Palomino via TKO in the third round.[24] The LA Times named this fight as the best fight of 2015.[25]

He had a rematch against Luis Palomino at WSOF 23 and defended his belt, finishing Palomino in the second round.[26]

At WSOF 29, he defended his belt again by defeating Brian Foster via TKO at 1:43 of the first round.[27][28][29]

On March 15, 2016, Gaethje was suspended indefinitely by the Colorado State Athletic Commission for "unsportsmanlike conduct" after he backflipped off the top of the cage in his post-fight celebration at WSOF 29.[30] The suspension was lifted a day later.[31][32]

Gaethje was expected to defend the WSOF Lightweight Championship against Ozzy Dugulubgov at WSOF 33 on October 7, 2016.[33] However, the bout was cancelled on the day of the event as Dugulubgov was stricken with illness.[34]

On October 17, 2016, it was announced that Gaethje would defend the WSOF Lightweight Championship against João Zeferino on December 31, 2016 at WSOF 34 in the main event.[35] However, an injury forced Zeferino to withdraw from the bout and he was replaced by Luiz Firmino.[36] Gaethje won the bout by TKO via doctor stoppage due to Firmino's right eye being swollen after round three.[37]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

On May 4, 2017, Gaethje announced he had vacated his WSOF title and signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.[38] It was announced on May 12 that he would make his debut against Michael Johnson on July 7, at The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption Finale.[39] Gaethje won the back-and-forth fight via TKO in the second round through a combination of punches and knees.[40] The win earned Gaethje the Fight of the Night and Performance of the Night bonus awards.[41] Sherdog named this fight as the best fight of 2017,[42] and round 2 of the fight as the best round of the year.[43]

On July 13, 2017, the UFC announced that Gaethje would coach The Ultimate Fighter 26 along with Eddie Alvarez, with the duo expected to face each other at the conclusion of the season.[44] The bout with Alvarez took place on December 2, 2017, at UFC 218.[45] Gaethje lost the fight by TKO in the third round, the first loss of his MMA career.[46] The fight also earned him his second consecutive Fight of the Night bonus award.[47]

Gaethje lost via TKO to Dustin Poirier on April 14, 2018 at UFC on Fox 29.[48] The fight earned Gaethje's third consecutive Fight of the Night bonus award.[49]

Gaethje is scheduled to fight Al Iaquinta, on August 25, 2018 at UFC Fight Night 135, in Lincoln, Nebraska.[50]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Collegiate wrestling[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

  • MMAjunkie
    • 2015 March Fight of the Month vs. Luis Palomino[54]
    • 2015 September Fight of the Month vs. Luis Palomino[55]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 18–2 Dustin Poirier TKO (punches) UFC on Fox: Poirier vs. Gaethje April 14, 2018 4 0:33 Glendale, Arizona, United States Fight of the Night.
Loss 18–1 Eddie Alvarez KO (knee) UFC 218 December 2, 2017 3 3:59 Detroit, Michigan, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 18–0 Michael Johnson TKO (punches and knees) The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption Finale July 7, 2017 2 4:48 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Performance of the Night. Fight of the Night. Fight of the Year
Win 17–0 Luiz Firmino TKO (doctor stoppage) WSOF 34 December 31, 2016 3 5:00 New York City, New York, United States Defended the WSOF Lightweight Championship.
Win 16–0 Brian Foster TKO (leg kicks) WSOF 29 March 12, 2016 1 1:43 Greeley, Colorado, United States Defended the WSOF Lightweight Championship.
Win 15–0 Luis Palomino KO (punches) WSOF 23 September 18, 2015 2 4:30 Phoenix, Arizona, United States Defended the WSOF Lightweight Championship.
Win 14–0 Luis Palomino TKO (leg kicks and punches) WSOF 19 March 28, 2015 3 3:57 Phoenix, Arizona, United States Defended the WSOF Lightweight Championship.
Win 13–0 Melvin Guillard Decision (split) WSOF 15 November 15, 2014 3 5:00 Tampa, Florida, United States Non-title bout; Guillard missed weight (159 lbs).
Win 12–0 Nick Newell TKO (punches) WSOF 11 July 5, 2014 2 3:09 Daytona Beach, Florida, United States Defended the WSOF Lightweight Championship.
Win 11–0 Richard Patishnock TKO (punches and elbows) WSOF 8 January 18, 2014 1 1:09 Hollywood, Florida, United States Won the WSOF Lightweight Championship.
Win 10–0 Dan Lauzon KO (punches) WSOF 6 October 28, 2013 2 1:40 Coral Gables, Florida, United States
Win 9–0 Brian Cobb TKO (leg kicks) WSOF 3 June 14, 2013 3 2:19 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 8–0 Gesias Cavalcante TKO (doctor stoppage) WSOF 2 March 23, 2013 1 2:27 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 7–0 Adrian Valdez TKO (punches) Rage in the Cage 164 November 16, 2012 2 0:19 Chandler, Arizona, United States
Win 6–0 Drew Fickett KO (punch) Rage in the Cage 163 October 20, 2012 1 0:12 Chandler, Arizona, United States Catchweight (165 lbs) bout.
Win 5–0 Sam Young Submission (rear-naked choke) Rage in the Cage 162 September 29, 2012 2 1:58 Chandler, Arizona, United States
Win 4–0 Marcus Edwards Decision (unanimous) ROF 43: Bad Blood June 2, 2012 3 5:00 Broomfield, Colorado, United States
Win 3–0 Donnie Bell TKO (punches) ROF 42: Who's Next December 17, 2011 2 2:57 Broomfield, Colorado, United States
Win 2–0 Joe Kelso TKO (punches) BTT MMA 2: Genesis October 1, 2011 1 4:32 Pueblo, Colorado, United States
Win 1–0 Kevin Croom KO (slam) ROF 41: Bragging Rights August 20, 2011 1 1:01 Broomfield, Colorado, United States Catchweight (159 lbs) bout.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 07-07-17MMA.pdf
  2. ^ "Former WSOF champ Justin Gaethje takes shots at 'quitter' Conor McGregor ahead of UFC debut". bloodyelbow.com. June 30, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Justin Gaethje - Official UFC Profile". UFC.com. Retrieved April 16, 2018. 
  4. ^ "UFC Fighter Rankings". Archived from the original on 22 August 2017. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  5. ^ "Fight Path: Miner's son Justin Gaethje ready to unleash patented slams at WSOF 2". mmajunkie.com. March 21, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Justin Gaethje: From the copper mines to the smiling fields of gold". mmafighting.com. January 17, 2014. 
  7. ^ Justin Gaethje’s Knockout Rate Trumps MMA All-Timers
  8. ^ a b "Former UNC All-American wrestler Gaethje to headline MMA fighting event in Greeley". greeleytribune.com. March 11, 2016. 
  9. ^ "WSOF champ Justin Gaethje: I won't take a pay cut to go to the UFC". bloodyelbow.com. March 9, 2016. 
  10. ^ "MMA practically a birthright for WSOF champ Gaethje". orlandosentinel.com. June 28, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Former UNC Wrestling Standout Justin Gaethje Returns to Campus to Defend MMA Championship". unco.edu. March 8, 2016. 
  12. ^ "The Beaten Path: Prospect Justin Gaethje Is Newest Member of Long MMA Tradition". bleacherreport.com. October 24, 2013. 
  13. ^ An up-and-down year: UNC’s Justin Gaethje still trying to find his groove at 149 pounds
  14. ^ "AFTER WRESTLING WITH GSP & OTHER FIGHTERS, JUSTIN GAETHJE DECIDED TO TRY MMA". sherdog.com. October 25, 2013. 
  15. ^ "RING OF FIRE 41 RESULTS: BRANDON THATCH WINS QUICK, TYLER TONER STAGES AMAZING COMEBACK". mmaweekly.com. August 21, 2011. 
  16. ^ "WSOF 2 results recap: Justin Gaethje vs Gesias Cavalcante fight review and analysis". mmamania.com. March 24, 2013. 
  17. ^ "WSOF 3 Results: Fitch vs. Burkman". mmafighting.com. June 14, 2013. 
  18. ^ "World Series of Fighting (WSOF) 6 recap for 'Burkman vs Carl' on NBC Sports". mmamania.com. October 27, 2013. 
  19. ^ "WSOF 8 Results: Gaethje vs. Patishnock". mmafighting.com. January 18, 2014. 
  20. ^ "WSOF's Justin Gaethje: I'd rather prove myself as best in the world than make a million dollars". sports.yahoo.com. July 3, 2014. 
  21. ^ "LIVE WSOF 11 results". mmamania.com. July 5, 2014. 
  22. ^ "For WSOF champ Justin Gaethje, who needs Wikipedia when you've got heavy hands?". mmafighting.com. November 14, 2014. 
  23. ^ "WSOF 15 results: Branch stops Okami, Aguilar and Gaethje win decisions". mmamania.com. November 16, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Justin Gaethje defends WSOF title". espn.go.com. March 29, 2016. 
  25. ^ "MMA rankings: Luke Rockhold puts middleweight division on notice". latimes.com. April 22, 2015. 
  26. ^ "WSOF 23 results recap: Video highlights, .gifs and more for 'Gaethje vs Palomino 2'". mmamania.com. September 19, 2015. 
  27. ^ "WSOF 29 video: Champ Justin Gaethje chops down Brian Foster with brutal leg kicks". mmajunkie.com. March 13, 2016. 
  28. ^ "Free agent heavyweight Matt Mitrione decides to sign with Bellator". reviewjournal.com. March 14, 2016. 
  29. ^ "JUSTIN GAETHJE BEATS BRIAN FOSTER WITH LEG KICKS IN FIRST ROUND". nbcsports.com. March 14, 2016. 
  30. ^ "Unsportsmanlike Conduct Following WSOF 29 Sidelines Justin Gaethje Indefinitely". yahoo.com. March 15, 2016. 
  31. ^ "Justin Gaethje taken off 'indefinite suspension' after talk with Colorado commission". mmafighting.com. March 16, 2016. 
  32. ^ "Colorado Lifts WSOF Champ Justin Gaethje's Indefinite Suspension". sports.yahoo.com. March 16, 2016. 
  33. ^ "With 3-hour broadcast, 6-bout WSOF 33 main card complete with Nurmagomedov-Howard". mmajunkie.com. August 30, 2016. 
  34. ^ "Tonight's Justin Gaethje vs. Ozzy Dugulubgov WSOF 33 headliner canceled". mmajunkie.com. October 7, 2016. 
  35. ^ "Three title fights set for WSOF's debut in New York". mmafighting.com. October 17, 2016. 
  36. ^ "Zeferino out, Justin Gaethje vs. Luiz Firmino now headlines WSOF: NYC". bloodyelbow.com. December 13, 2016. 
  37. ^ "WORLD SERIES OF FIGHTING 34 RESULTS: PLAY-BY-PLAY & ROUND-BY-ROUND SCORING". sherdog.com. December 31, 2016. 
  38. ^ "Justin Gaethje Says UFC Contract Signed, Wants 'Scariest Lightweight Possible'". sherdog.com. May 4, 2017. 
  39. ^ Dan Hiergesell (2017-05-12). "Michael Johnson vs. Justin Gaethje set to headline TUF 25 Finale on July 7 in Las Vegas". mmamania.com. Retrieved 2017-05-12. 
  40. ^ "TUF 25 Finale results: Justin Gaethje TKOs Michael Johnson in memorable UFC debut". MMAjunkie. 2017-07-08. Retrieved 2017-07-08. 
  41. ^ "TUF 25 Finale bonuses: Justin Gaethje's sick, sick debut was a double winner for $100,000". MMAjunkie. 2017-07-08. Retrieved 2017-07-08. 
  42. ^ a b Sherdog.com. "Sherdog.com's 2017 Fight of the Year". Sherdog. Retrieved 2017-12-21. 
  43. ^ a b Sherdog.com. "Sherdog.com's 2017 Round of the Year". Sherdog. Retrieved 2017-12-29. 
  44. ^ Eddie Alvarez, Justin Gaethje to serve as coaches on 'The Ultimate Fighter'
  45. ^ Ryan Harkness (2017-09-14). "TUF coaches Alvarez and Gaethje to throw down at UFC 218". mmamania.com. Retrieved 2017-09-14. 
  46. ^ "UFC 218 results: Eddie Alvarez first to stop Justin Gaethje with sick knee in all-time classic". MMAjunkie. 2017-12-03. Retrieved 2017-12-03. 
  47. ^ "UFC 218 bonuses: Amazing night forces two 'Fight of the Night' awards". MMAjunkie. 2017-12-03. Retrieved 2017-12-03. 
  48. ^ "UFC on FOX 29 results: Dustin Poirier digs deep, stops Justin Gaethje in fourth round of chaotic clash". MMAjunkie. 2018-04-15. Retrieved 2018-04-15. 
  49. ^ "UFC on FOX 29 bonuses: Poirier, Gaethje get easiest 'Fight of Night' in history of ever". MMAjunkie. 2018-04-15. Retrieved 2018-04-15. 
  50. ^ https://mmajunkie.com/2018/06/justin-gaethje-al-iaquinta-headlines-ufc-fight-night-135-lincoln-nebraska
  51. ^ Justin Gaethje – Official UFC© Profile
  52. ^ 2010 COL: NCAAs Division 1 C’Ships
  53. ^ UNC’s Justin Gaethje knocked out of winner’s bracket at NCAA Championships
  54. ^ "MMAjunkie's 'Fight of the Month' for March: A true WSOF slugfest". mmajunkie.com. April 3, 2015. 
  55. ^ "MMAjunkie's 'Fight of the Month' for September: Rematch brings another win". mmajunkie.com. October 2, 2015. 
  56. ^ "Best of 2015: MMA half-year awards". sports.yahoo.com. June 29, 2015. 
  57. ^ Snowden, Jonathan. "Bleacher Report 2017 MMA Awards: Best Fighter, Fight, Finishes and Story". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2018-01-03. 
  58. ^ "RealSport 2017 MMA Awards: UFC Debut of the Year - RealSport". RealSport. 2017-12-30. Retrieved 2018-01-03. 
  59. ^ "2017 UFC Fight of the Year: Gaethje vs. Johnson blows away the competition". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 2018-01-03. 
  60. ^ "MMAjunkie '2017 Round of the Year': Absolutely menacing highlight". MMAjunkie. 2018-01-03. Retrieved 2018-01-04. 
  61. ^ "Bloody Elbow 2017 Year-End Awards - Results". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved 2018-01-17.