Every year seems to get bigger and better for lightweight Justin Gaethje.
Following a steady build up the first two years of his career, Gaethje joined World Series of Fighting in 2013 and since then has remained undefeated and took the promotion’s lightweight championship last year.
“World Series has done a great job of keeping me busy,” Gaethje told MMAWeekly.com. “I had three fights last year and I would like to have three fights this year as well.
“2014 was a big year. It was the biggest year of my career. It was definitely a turning point. I have to keep working hard. I have not proved enough to myself to anybody else yet.”
Gaethje (13-0) will defend his WSOF lightweight title on Saturday in Phoenix, against veteran Luis Palomino (23-9).
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“I’ve got to stay in really good position and not take any stupid risks,” said Gaethje. “I can’t get sloppy with my strikes, kicks, takedowns – everything has to be crisp. Palomino is short, strong and explosive. If I make any mistakes, he could knock me out.”
It’s not that Gaethje doesn’t want to showcase more of his skills; it just happens that when he fights. His instincts take over and all about doing what he does best.
“There’s a lot more of my game that people have not seen,” he said. “I’d like to show that, but I get in there and whatever happens. I turn my brain off and it’s all reaction. Whatever happens, happens, but it’s going to be exciting.”
Though he’s risen far in his relatively short career, Gaethje doesn’t see any reason he still can’t aspire to more.
“I’m not ranked number one in the world right now, so there’s still plenty to work for,” he said. “All my goals are still ahead of me.”