He Might Never Become UFC Lightweight Champion, But ‘The Highlight’ is Absolutely Unmissable Viewing… He KOed Edson Barboza to Move Back Up the Rankings in Style…
Wow. This was insane from Justin Gaethje once again. If you love MMA you have to love ‘The Highlight’ who absolutely guarantees his fans box office entertainment. He throws down with zero regards for his own health, moving forward like a zombie. It’s seen him get knocked out a couple of times against elite opposition, but if he catches you-you’re in trouble.
He went into his main event fight in Philadelphia as an underdog against the slick Brazilian striker Edson Barboza. Barboza is incredibly dynamic and entertaining in his own right, and many believed that this could be a fight of the night contender. It didn’t turn out that way, but we did get a savage KO instead.
Watch the highlights of this carnage below. Barboza is still looking for his brain.
— UFC (@ufc) March 31, 2019
Done and Dusted
The man literally has never been in a boring fight. This was entertaining for as long as it lasted, and ended in savage style. Barboza and Gaethje exchanged kicks early on, with the American’s leg kicks doing visible damage to his opponent, and slowing down his movement.
The momentum was with Gaethje and he staggered Barboza with a combination, moving him back towards the fence. As he backed off, ‘The Highlight’ let loose with a cannon of an overhand right, sending his opponent to sleep straight away. Just like that.
While realistically he isn’t going to fight Khabib Nurmagamedov next, that is Gaethje’s ultimate goal and he believes that he would be a rare bad opponent for the Russian. He made a convincing case to the post-fight media scrum at UFC on ESPN 2.
“It doesn’t matter to me (who I fight next),” Gaethje told reporters. “They’re going to pay me a lot of money, that’s what I’m here for. I want to be the world champion. I want to fight Khabib, I think I’m one of the biggest threats to his title and that’s my goal. Whoever I have to go through.”
“My ability to stop takedowns (would make me a bad matchup),” Gaethje said. “I am a Division 1 wrestler. I was a Division 1 All-American, I placed seventh in 2010 and my ability to scramble and avoid takedowns is something he’s never faced. And the power. He’s faced the power, but never with the ability to stop takedowns and scramble. The combination of the two.”
That didn't take long.
Justin Gaethje (+110) defeats Edson Barboza (-140) via first-round KO!pic.twitter.com/KfVztk5tDN
— Action Combat (@ActionFights) March 31, 2019
He also warned the division that he’s not just here to be entertaining. Gaethje has genuine title ambitions. While losses to Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier stalled his momentum, back-to-back wins over Barboza and James Vick bring him back into title contention.
“I want to fight for the title so I don’t know,” Gaethje said. “I don’t know what I have to do. I’m going to put my energy into preparation to do that to every single person I face inside the octagon across from me that’s trying to take everything that I’ve ever worked for.”