It was an unusually short night of fighting for Justin Gaethje at UFC Lincoln, where it took the brawler just 1:27 to turn James Vick’s lights out (watch the finish right here). That was perfectly fine by Gaethje, who admitted afterwards he wasn’t looking to fight a war that night.
”I love it,” he said during a post-fight media scrum. “I did say I was going for Performance of the Night, someone else can have Fight of the Night. So I’m glad I proved that one true, for myself, for my family, for my health, so I can fight again sooner.”
And Gaethje did indeed get that Performance of the Night bonus, raking in an extra $50k. Not bad, but still not making up for all the money he didn’t make in his previous two losses. Like most UFC fighters, Gaethje’s show / win money is split right down the middle. His last disclosed paycheck was $110k/$110k against Dustin Poirier, and because he lost he only made that first $110k.
So when asked about what was next, Justin didn’t name a fighter but rather a financial goal.
”It should get me a business meeting with the UFC, that’s what it should give me,” he said. “I want to fight the best. I’m happy with the UFC, I’m not unhappy with them. But the way I put it on the line, I need all my money up front. And that’s how it should work for people like me. They should use me as an example. If you want all your money, you fight like Justin Gaethje.”
Considering the UFC is set to make $300 million a year from ESPN for their non-PPV cards, I think Gaethje may still be underselling himself at around $200k up front to headline UFC Fight Nights.
Regardless, he’s going to take some time off and let his managers do the work on that side. It’s been a long year for the exciting fighter and he wants to relax a little.
”Right now, I’ve fought four times in 13 months. Give me a break,” Gaethje said. “I’ve never been to Hawaii, I’ve never been to Jamaica, I’ve never bought a house. Let me do some things before you put me back in camp. I’ve been in camp for 12 months straight, you know.”
”I do 12 week camps, that’s three months. And I’ve done four fights in the last 13 months, that means I’ve been in camp, I’ve been out of camp maybe a month, and that was when I was filming The Ultimate Fighter, so I wasn’t out of camp. I’ve been training for the last 13 months, and I would like a break.”
”Not a long break,” he added with a laugh.