What’s Next For Justin Gaethje?
Every UFC fan knows when Justin Gaethje fights it’s must watch TV. This past Saturday in Lincoln Nebraska he showed us all why his nickname is “The Highlight”. Gaethje’s opponent was the number 10 ranked lightweight James Vick. Vick was coming into this fight on a 4-fight win streak. 3 of those fights were stoppages. There was a lot of bad blood between Vick and Gaethje, and you could tell heading into the fight Gaethje was taking it personal. This fight was a must win for Gaethje because he was currently on a 2 fight losing streak. Gaethje didn’t even give Vick a chance to warm up as Gaethje knocked him out with a hook in round 1. This was different from Gaethje’s previous three fights. This wasn’t a three round or five round war. It was a one rounded beat down, and Gaethje proved to us all that he’s right where he belongs in the top ten.
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After such an impressive win who should be next for Justin Gaethje? Nearly everyone in the lightweight division seems to be booked up at the time. Conor and Khabib are fighting at 229. Ferguson and Pettis are the co main event for UFC 229. Poirier is scheduled to fight Nate Diaz at UFC 230. Leaving Gaethje’s options for his next opponent kind of scarce. The one name that jumps out at me right away is Kevin Lee. Lee is coming off a big win against Barboza. What makes this fight even more intriguing to me is this fight gives us a chance to see how good Gaethje’s wrestling is. Kevin Lee is not going brawl with Gaethje he’s going to try to use his grappling. If Gaethje can stop the take down it’s going to be interesting to see how Kevin Lee reacts and if he’ll entertain making this fight a brawl. Lee vs Gaethje should definitely be the next fight made within the lightweight division.
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Stephen Caloggero (@steveo_calo)