Win, lose or draw, Justin Gaethje knows any opponent who steps into the cage with him is about to go through absolute hell.
Just a glance at Gaethje’s UFC resume doesn’t do justice to the four fights he’s had inside the Octagon while amassing a 2-2 record over all.
What those numbers fail to exemplify are Gaethje’s unreal performances that have resulted in five post fight bonuses including back-to-back fight of the years against Michael Johnson and Dustin Poirier.
Even in defeat, Gaethje’s opponents have said fighting him is like enduring a five-car pileup where you somehow survive but then continue to pay for it days, weeks or sometimes even months later.
“I go in there to create car crashes so that makes sense,” Gaethje said about his style when speaking to MMAWeekly.com.
“You’ve just got to prepare your mind, body soul for what you have to go in there and go through. Both the guys that beat me went through absolute hell.”
This weekend, Gaethje will walk into his fourth UFC main event in five fights as he faces Edson Barboza in the second ever card airing live on ESPN.
Gaethje doesn’t try to build himself up by tearing down his opponents and he’s never going to try to over sell a fight just to get people to tune into watch him compete.
With a combined 13 post fight bonuses between them, Gaethje and Barboza take no prisoners when it’s time to go to war and that’s exactly what the former World Series of Fighting champion expects this weekend.
“Obviously, he’s been mentally preparing for the task at hand. He’s no slouch, he’s one of the best in the world and he comes from one of the best camps in the world,” Gaethje said about Barboza. “I’m sure they’re doing their homework but there’s really no stopping someone going forward other than putting their lights out.
“I’ve said it so many times, if we fight 100 times, he knocks me out 20 and the other 80 I take his soul. So I’m going out there to play that game.”
Coming off a devastating first round knockout victory in his last fight, Gaethje really wants to start building momentum with this matchup, which will also likely lead into contract renegotiations with the UFC in the near future as his current deal is nearing its end.
None of that matters to Gaethje right now because he sole focus is beating Barboza on Saturday night and until that job is finished, he’s not ready to put his attention on anything or anyone else.
“Right now, my life doesn’t exist after March 30,” Gaethje said. “There’s such a clusterf—k at the top right now that all I can do is go out there have impressive performances, cause ultimately you have to win but it’s also how you win.
“At the end of the day, I have to win this fight. A loss here is not good. I think a brutal win over Edson Barboza does absolutely tremendous things for me.”