Former World Series of Fighting (WSOF) champion Justin Gaethje is taking Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) by storm and will continue his lightweight invasion tomorrow night (Sat., Dec. 2, 2017) at UFC 218 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Mich., when he takes on former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez.
Gaethje, who made a huge splash earlier this year with a debut knockout win over divisional staple Michael Johnson, is hoping that Alvarez sticks to his guns and exchanges punches in bunches. While their lightweight matchup has the potential to turn in one of the best fights of the year (similar to Gaethje’s efforts against Johnson), Gaethje isn’t putting it past Alvarez to switch up his gameplan and avoid a brawl.
“He’s talking a big game, but I still think he’s going to try and stick me against the fence and hold me there,” Gaethje told MMAjunkie. “I’m a Division I wrestler, so I’ve got to focus on keeping him off me and landing hard punches and kicks, making him quit. I don’t know how many times he’s been finished, but I’m shooting to finish him, that’s for sure.”
If Gaethje is able to stop Alvarez and lock down his second-straight UFC victory he’ll put himself in position to contend for a title next year. And while the biggest fight in the lightweight division resides with current champion and PPV king Conor McGregor, Gaethje isn’t worried about the Irishman’s plans. Instead, he’s focusing his attention on interim titleholder Tony Ferguson.
“I honestly don’t give a (expletive about McGregor’s plans), because it does not matter,” Gaethje explained. “If I don’t win this fight, I’m not even in that picture. So I’m focusing on Eddie. Can’t hate on Conor for making a (expletive) of money. Don’t hate him at all. So if I finish Eddie, I definitely want to fight Tony.”
Win or lose, Gaethje is hoping for a memorable performance at UFC 218. He has remained perfect (18-0) to this point in his career, but within a shark-infested division like lightweight Gaethje understands he may eventually taste defeat in his pursuit for ultimate carnage.
“I would rather lose than not get a finish I don’t want to win a boring decision,” Gaethje said. “That’s the last thing I want. It’s impossible. It’s either I get finished, or he gets finished. That’s how I fight. It’s life or death.”
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 218 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.