Some Justin Gaethje next fight news should be coming soon, following his latest win at UFC 286. With his stock at a high and being as popular as ever, there are many fascinating opponent options ahead for “The Highlight” in his eventual return to the Octagon.
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Who will Justin Gaethje next fight be against?
Gaethje is one of the top fighters in the UFC lightweight rankings, which means matchups with top-10 fighters are the only option for the former interim champion. That is why when he returns to action later this year, matchups with Dustin Poirier, Mateusz Gamrot, and Beneil Dariush make the most sense.
- Diamond: Gaethje and Poirier went to war in one of the top fights of 2018. Fans have clamored for a rematch ever since, and with both on the cusp of a title opportunity, now seems like the perfect time for a long-awaited rematch.
- Gamer: Gamrot is one of the fastest-rising talents in the division. If Gaethje wants to stay active, turning away another rising star — like he did Rafael Fiziev — could be possible next.
- Benny: Dariush is a top-five fighter in the division. If he can beat former champion Charles Oliveira in May, but does not get a title shot after, a bout with Gaethje should be the next fight for both men.
Justin Gaethje vs Rafael Fiziev preview
While Justin Gaethje had difficulties with Rafael Fiziev’s speed and explosiveness early, he was able to wear him down and scrape out a hard-fought win in March at UFC 286.
What happened: Fiziev is a fantastic striker, and observers of the sport knew he would be a tough matchup on the feet for the American. That is why Gaethje even admitted before the fight he would likely go for some rare takedowns.
The bout was highly competitive and one that some thought Gaethje lost. However, in the end, the judges saw his power shots and aggressive strategy as enough to score a majority decision win over “Atman.”
The fallout: The victory keeps Gaethje among the elites in the division and in the thick of the title hunt. While it was a tough loss for Fiziev, he doesn’t lose much in stature after nearly beating one of the best lightweights of the decade.
The roadmap: Gaethje is sure to be in a major matchup next, with some early signs pointing to a rematch with fellow 155-pound superstar Dustin Poirier.
What makes Justin Gaethje so popular?
The Violence King: There truly are very few fighters like Gaethje in UFC history. There have been many tough fighters, or brawlers with heavy hands, but few have been able to defeat elite talent as well. The 33-year-old is a rarity for being a crushing machine with an unbreakable will, but also has the skill and fight IQ to compete with the best lightweights of his era.
- Justin Gaethje Record: 24-4 (19 knockouts, 1 submission)
- The lightweight division has had some talented knockout artists, but not many have been as efficient as Gaethje in dealing out KOs. In his 23 wins, 83% have come by KO.
- Gaethje has a better knockout rate than heavyweight bombers Derrick Lewis and Francis Ngannou. The two men many believe are the most devastating punchers in MMA history.
- The Arizona native was a sensation from the start of his promotional run in 2017 and has main event UFC cards in seven of his nine fights.
- Gaethje had a good bit of hype entering the promotion after having a memorable run as the World Series of Fighting lightweight champion before they were rebranded as the PFL.
- Gaethje has faced two former UFC and Bellator 155-pound champions during his time in the UFC
- Several of his fights, including against Chandler, Poirier, Eddie Alvarez, and Michael Johnson, either won or were nominated for “Fight of the Year” during the 12-month period when they occurred.
Justin Gaethje’s net worth
Money is often one of the greatest measuring sticks for a fighter’s success. As of 2022, Gaethje’s net worth is estimated to be over $2 million.
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