After dropping two-straight fights to lightweight killers Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez, former World Series of Fighting (WSOF) champion Justin Gaethje desperately needs a win later tonight (Sat., Aug. 25, 2018) at UFC Fight Night 135 when he takes on rising contender James Vick.
Before his lightweight clashes with Alvarez and Poirier, “Highlight” had gone undefeated in his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) career, including a Octagon debut knockout over Michael Johnson, and was on his way towards title contention. Unfortunately, Gaethje’s brawling ways caught up to him as his lack of game planning and defense paved the way for two massive defeats.
Gaethje has promised to change things up this evening at UFC Fight Night 135, especially considering Vick isn’t the type of fighter that’s going to willing participate in a brawl. It isn’t the most attractive fighting style for Gaethje given his inhuman need for punishment, but it’s something he’ll have to overcome to snap his lone career losing streak.
“No, I don’t admire anything about his fighting style,” Gaethje said of Vick earlier this week during UFC Fight Night 135’s media day. “Point fighter, constantly going backwards. But he’s ranked No. 10 in the UFC, so he’s definitely … it’s going to be a big challenge for me. I got to go out there, get a W, be a little more patient than normal, pick my shots.
“He doesn’t like to get hit. He gets hit going backwards, and that’s the worst way to get hit. So, when I do touch him, he’s going to feel it. He’s going to not like it.”
Vick, who has quietly turned in a 9-1 divisional record since making his UFC debut back in 2013, has the readily available skill set to push Gaethje to the limit this evening in Lincoln, Nebraska. He’s tall, accurate, durable, and understands how to finish an opponent from almost any position. The only problem is that “Texecutioner” has never faced a fighter remotely as crazy as Gaethje.
It’s going to be an entertaining main event to say the least. Even if Gaethje adopts a more cautious offensive attack and sits back in the pocket more than usual, he’s going to land big shots on Vick from the opening bell. Vick, on the other hand, will have huge windows of opportunity to lean on his long jab and launch crippling knees inside.
We’ll have to wait and see if Gaethje can do enough to lock down his second UFC victory in four appearances.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 135 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” undercard bout at 6:30 p.m. ET, followed by the FOX Sports 2 “Prelims” undercard bouts at 8 p.m. ET, before the main card start time at 10 p.m. ET, also on FOX Sports 1.