Justin Gaethje is Tony Ferguson’s new opponent for UFC 249. The bout is scheduled for April 18 at an undisclosed location and while the UFC promoting anything during a pandemic seems like it is up in the air until the first bell, Gaethje seems to enjoy being involved in the chaos.
When the announcement was made, Gaethje tweeted that he was “terrified” and that he loves it. He elaborated on what he meant when he spoke with TMZ Tuesday morning. “Anytime I’ve ever fought, there’s never been this many unknowns,” Gaethje said. He added, “It’s a terrifying moment and I’m talking about the competition side.”
He acknowledged the lack of preparation he will be coming in as a last-minute opponent against someone that has been preparing for the current lightweight champion. However, for Gaethje that is what he is used to dealing with in every fight with the mindset he has had his whole career. “I always think they’re training harder, I always think they’re better than me, I always think they’re luckier than me, and I love to face adversity. I’m facing my fears right now.”
Gaethje also seems to be aware of Ferguson’s skillset but is willing to risk the loss for glory. For him, he really has nothing to lose by taking the fight with Ferguson. He said he has never taken a fight on short notice but he also said, “I’ve never been offered a UFC title. It’s all I’ve been working for since the beginning and I’m ready to gamble.”
Interestingly enough, his coach advised against it but for Gaethje, he sees it this way; “If I lose, where are we at? And, for me, it’s in the exact same spot I’m in right now.”
With many professional fighters unable to earn a paycheck right now, Gaethje says it’s a nice opportunity but for him, it’s the glory that matters more, “Heroes live forever, legends never die and I’m here to make a statement,” Gaethje said of his decision and that his name will be carried on “far after I’m here because of my effort, because of my work ethic, and because of the skills that I possess.”
It’s hard to not be sold on this fight.