Admittedly, Gaethje did not fight as well as he could have, but still managed to get the win and secure the WSOF 155-pound title in the process.
“I think it was a really tough fight for me,” Gaethje told MMAWeekly.com. “I wasn’t comfortable. I like to hurt people, and I didn’t want to hurt Nick, so it was a whole different fight for me.
“You’re going to see a whole different fighter in this upcoming one. I’m trying to go out there, put on a good performance, and get a good win.”
For Gaethje, the last couple years have been the fulfillment of the promise many saw in him as he was an up-and-coming fighter, and he’s happy to get the acknowledgement.
“As fighters, we go in there and put it all on the line to perform, make money, for ourselves and our families and friends, so it’s good to get the respect that I feel I deserve,” he said. “I go out there and put it on the line every single time I get into the cage.”
“I grew up watching him in high school before I even had aspirations of becoming a fighter, so this is awesome,” said Gaethje of Guillard. “I’m more athletic than Melvin, I hit harder than Melvin, and I’m hungrier than Melvin – and I’m coming to put on a performance.
“He’s either going to get really lucky and knock me out or I’m going to beat the (expletive) out of him and make him look really bad.”
For Gaethje is the desire to not just win, but do so in strong fashion, that will allow him to continue to make a living in MMA, and be the full-time fighter he wants to be.
“There’s one thing I’ve learned in this sport is that there is only one way to get paid – that’s to put on performances,” said Gaethje.
“The guys who are just here to win are going to get weeded out very fast. I think the guys who are in there to put it on the line and put on a performance and go for the knockout or submissions are going to get paid, and that’s what it’s about.”