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UFC 218’s Justin Gaethje aims to be most violent lightweight in the world, finish Eddie Alvarez ‘as fast as possible’

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

Before making his dazzling Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debut by knocking out Michael Johnson at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 25 Finale earlier this year, Justin Gaethje had already done enough in other mixed martial arts (MMA) promotions to earn his “Highlight” moniker. Now that he’s on the grandest MMA stage of them all, fight fans are finally taking notice.

And Gaethje has no plans on switching up his style just because the competition is tougher.

“I’m going to go in there and finish Eddie absolutely as fast as possible,” he said during a recent media scrum (via MMA Junkie) regarding his upcoming Lightweight title against Eddie Alvarez at UFC 218 on Dec. 2, 2017, in Detroit, Michigan. “I gave up a championship [at World Series of Fighting (WSOF) to join UFC]. I deserve a shot at the championship if I keep beating these guys. So I hope I earn that. I will earn it.

“I think Conor’s going to make somebody earn it,” he continued. “These boys tonight, I hope they put on a show for us. But, I have a feeling one of them just wants to win,” he said of the recent interim Lightweight title fight that saw Tony Ferguson submit Kevin Lee at UFC 216.

For Gaethje, putting on a show — instead of just coasting through a win — is his main objective. And that mentality has a bearing on what types of match ups an aggressive and crowd-pleasing fighter like Gaethje gets next (just ask Tyron Woodley). Moving forward, Gaethje wants to enhance his reputation of an entertaining and violent fighter en route to becoming the new sheriff of the Octagon.

“I don’t want to win, I want to put on a show,” he exclaimed. “I want to be the most violent Lightweight in the world. And if I have to go through one of these guys after I beat Eddie, I will. But, I’m going to be running for sheriff around here,” he concluded.

Quickly becoming a fan favorite, Gaethje can get on the fast track for a shot at the strap should he dominate the former 155-pound division kingpin. Or he could -- at the very least — set himself up for a No. 1 contender eliminator match while McGregor and Ferguson do the dance.

He’ll probably have to out-perform this guy, too.

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