Justin Gaethje is without a doubt one of the, if not the most entertaining fighter on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) roster, thanks to his push the pace, never back down attitude.
While appealing to some fight fans, all of the damage “Highlight” absorbs — just to dish some out —can and will eventually take a toll on his mind and body. That’s why he wants to get compensated a bit more every time he’s tasked to headline a five-round fight.
Speaking on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, Gaethje says he needs a bit more financial incentive to put his life on the line, as he believes if he ever suffers a serious injury or death inside the cage it will happen in the championship rounds.
“At the end of the day I may sound like a little bitch when all that comes out. I mean, I am getting, this is four out of five fights that I am main event. There is a reason for that. I would like to be compensated more fairly for those last two rounds,” said Justin.
“That is my only argument when it comes to fighting a main event. But only .1 percent of people are going to complain about something like that, which is myself because I keep getting these main events. I am not asking for them. I love being there, I love being the last fight of the night, being the highlight of the night and I love being the main billing on a fight card in the UFC. I love my picture being on the poster, all of those things are what I love,” he added.
“But, those two rounds, especially for someone like myself, are the most dangerous rounds that there are. If I do pass away or suffer a serious injury it will probably come in the fourth or fifth round. That’s my only complaint when it comes to that. But again, that’s a small complaint because I am getting a main event on ESPN. The eyeballs are going to be tremendous and it’s going to be great,” said Gaethje, while revealing headlining a UFC event nets a fighter an extra $25,000 payout on top of his or her salary.
Still, that simply isn’t enough for a man who puts it all on the line, as evidenced by winning either “Fight of the Night” or “Performance of The Night” — sometimes both — in all four of his UFC fights so far.
“I may sound like spoiled brat when I say an extra $25,000 is not enough, but it is not enough. Who knows what I will get paid, I don’t even want to say, but let’s say I get paid 100/100 for the first three rounds. Then I am getting paid $25,000 for the most crucial, most devastating to my health rounds that there are. And that’s rounds four and five,” he concluded.
With a win over Edson Barboza at the upcoming UFC on ESPN 2 event on March 30, Justin hopes to be able to tear up his old deal with UFC and sign a more lucrative contract due to the leverage he feels he will earn by stopping one of the most dangerous fighters in all of MMA.
What do you think about Gaethje’s approach for his request for higher fighter pay?