Fans had been gearing up for UFC 249 for some time, and after the disappointment of knowing Khabib had to pull out, due to quarantine restrictions in Russia, his replacement was drafted – Justin Gaethje. However, with the latest news that UFC 249 will be postponed, we won’t be seeing the first fighter to receive a bonus in his first six UFC fights, with four Fight of the Night awards and three Performance of the Night accolades, in action. But while we take look back at Gaethje’s record so far, you can check out all the latest MMA betting odds.
Win vs Michael Johnson
After vacating his WSOF title, Gaethje joined the UFC and made his debut at The Ultimate Fighter: Redemption Finale. The headline event didn’t disappoint and after winning by a second round TKO, following a series of knees and punches, Gaethje won both post-fight awards. Not only that but Sherdog also named the fight the Best of the Year (2017), while the second round was announced as the Round of the Year – high praise, indeed.
Loss vs Eddie Alvarez
Gaethje then appeared at The Ultimate Fighter 26, where he was a coach, and his team took on opponents represented by Eddie Alvarez. The two then met in the Octagon at UFC 218 in a lightweight clash. Although ‘The Highlight’ lost the fight – his first in the UFC – by TKO towards the end of the third round, he was still awarded a Fight of the Night bonus.
Loss vs Dustin Poirier
A second headline event on the main card, but a second successive loss for Gaethje occurred at UFC on Fox 29, in April 2018. He was up against Poirier who had won two of his three last UFC fights and the pair were awarded the Fight of the Night. In the third round, Gaethje was deducted a point due to repeated eye pokes, but it didn’t impact the result and he was defeated by TKO in the subsequent round.
Win vs James Vick
At Fight Night 135, ‘The Highlight’ was scheduled to go up against Al Iaquinta, but after he withdrew, James Vick stepped up to replace him, in what was the headline event. Gaethje returned to winning ways, thus putting an end to Vick’s four-bout winning streak. He didn’t hang around in the Octagon and knocked out his opponent within the first 90 seconds – more than enough to reward him with the Performance of the Night title.
Win vs Edson Barboza
It was back-to-back wins, again with a knockout blow as Gaethje took on Edson Barboza at UFC on ESPN 2. His Brazilian-American opponent had recently had a dip in form, losing to Khabib (UFC 219) and Kevin Lee, but had won his last fight. Another win and another bonus for Gaethje, who was awarded Fight of the Night this time around – the killer punch coming once again in the first round.
Win vs Donald Cerrone
At Fight Night 158, ‘The Highlight’ took on UFC veteran, Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. Cerrone had last lost to Tony Ferguson, but prior to that, had won three successive times in the Octagon. Gaethje continued his good form, and it was another knockout blow that decided it. A hat-trick of round one victories, again by punches, sent Cerrone to the deck and Gaethje won his third Performance of the Night bonus.
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