Former World Series of Fighting (WSOF) lightweight champion Justin Gaethje made his UFC debut last night (Fri., July 7, 2017) at TUF 25 Finale live on FOX Sports 1 from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, taking on divisional staple Michael “The Menace” Johnson. Despite the step up in competition, Gaethje did not disappoint.
Both men traded from the opening bell. Gaethje ruled the way early with nasty leg kicks and exhausting pressure along the cage, but Johnson caught the UFC newcomer flush with a blistering right hand that hurt “Highlight” bad towards the end of the first. And early into the second round, Johnson found a home for another titanic right hand that put Gaethje on wobbly legs. Miraculously, Gaethje was able to weather the storm and return his own offense on the inside. Moments later, Gaethje would catch “Menace” with a devastating uppercut that forced the UFC veteran to backpedal into the cage. Gaethje followed his efforts up with leg kicks, body kicks, flying knees, and more uppercuts that bloodied Johnson’s entire face. With one final knee along the cage, Gaethje would force the referee to jump in for the TKO stoppage.
Check out the memorable finish above courtesy of UFC.
With this win, Gaethje bursts into the UFC’s lightweight division with one of the more exciting victories of 2017 thus far. The former WSOF king puts himself in more danger than almost any other fighter you’ll see, yet continues to leave the cage victorious. Moving forward, Gaethje’s wild offensive outbursts should haunt all fellow lightweights.
For more TUF 25 Finale results and coverage click here.