UFC lightweight Justin Gaethje has a fan-friendly style that has undoubtedly won him many a fight fan.
He battled it out with Michael Johnson in his UFC debut last July, ultimately winning the war of attrition by second-round TKO.
His next two outings didn’t go his way, however, and he ended up losing via T/KO to Eddie Alvarez and then Dustin Poirier.
Now, Gaethje admitted he is at least somewhat concerned over the consequences of his risky fighting style while on The MMA Hour this week (via MMA Fighting):
“I’m just telling myself that now because, for one, this is a young man’s game.”
“Three hard fights in a row, all in the last 12 months, people have said to me that it’s something to worry about. There are guys in the UFC now that have been knocked unconscious seven times, five times, completely unconscious. I have never gone completely unconscious yet. I have passed every single one of my impact tests after the fights.
“Of course it’s a concern, but that’s what we do. We fight for a living. If you watched the Edson (Barboza) and Kevin Lee fight, they took punches. Kevin Lee won but he took that huge spinning head kick and that’s not good for your brain, but it is what we do.
“I can’t go to bed every night scared or worried because this is what I signed up for. This is what I get paid to do. I try to fight twice a year so I don’t add up (the damage) too fast.”
The former WSOF lightweight champion was thrown to the wolves right out of the gate, but his losses were competitive until the finish. With CTE at the forefront of discussion when it comes to sports, Gaethje is certainly testing dangerous boundaries of what kind of punishment a human brain can take.
While he’s right he hasn’t been completely knocked out yet, he has instead been accumulating sustained punches to the head for a prolonged period of time.
Do you feel Gaethje’s fighting style is detrimental to his health? how much longer can he last in the UFC fighting his style?