Former World Series of Fighting champion Justin Gaethje knows he can’t sustain a long career competing the way he does.
And that’s fine by him.
“I’m not planning on being around that long,” he said during a recent appearance on UFC Tonight. “I’m planning on six or eight more and I’m out.”
The unbeaten Gaethje (18-0) made his UFC debut with a finish vs. Michael Johnson earlier this year. He accepted a spot as a coach on The Ultimate Fighter opposite Alvarez because he understood what it would do to his stock.
He understands, though, what you do inside the Octagon can be even more important to that.
“The biggest factor is how you win,” he said. “If I finish him as violent as I want to and as quick as possible, it would help. I’m taking a step in the right direction. I’ve got to focus on him. He’s dangerous and I can’t look past him.”
Alvarez is both a former UFC and Bellator champion. He dropped the title to Conor McGregor and had a fight with Dustin Poirier declared a no-contest.
“He’s talking himself into a real fight,” Gaethje said. “I’m still expecting him to try to stick me against the fence. All this talk, he better be ready to show up and fight.”
While some have come off appearances on TUF and been against the reality series, Gaethje had no issues with it. In fact, if the UFC asked, he’d even consider doing it all over again.
“I would, preferably not right after a fight. I loved it,” he said. “Before I started coaching them, I was in their same position four or five days before that. I learned as much from them as they did from me.”
UFC 218 takes place this Saturday night live on pay-per-view from the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. Max Holloway defends his featherweight title against Jose Aldo in the main event.