Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone loves a good old fashion slobber knocker.

That’s why fans love Justin Gaethje. But all good things come to an end.

In a recent interview with FloCombat, Gaethje explained why MMA needs to be a job to him. His job has become this way because he’s learned his lesson.

The self-proclaimed most violent man in mixed martial arts will take on James Vick in the main event of UFC Lincoln on Aug 25, 2018, at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska.

But will fans see the same Gaethje they have come to know and love?

”Really, what I’ve been focused on is not becoming too complacent and not having too much fun out there,” Gaethje told FloCombat. “Right before that knee [against Alvarez], I landed some huge uppercuts and I got too relaxed. In my mind, he was going away and you cannot do that at this level, especially against guys like Eddie Alvarez. Same thing happened with Dustin [Poirier]. I should have learned my lesson, but I get in there and I get too comfortable.”

”I need to go in there and I need to be scared at all times, I need to understand that it can happen with one shot and that one shot can happen at any time, especially when I’m fighting guys in the top 10 of the UFC. So just staying focused, staying vigilant in my positions has really been my focus in this camp.”

Criticism From Fans

The former WSOF champion receives a lot of criticism for his fighting style or lack thereof. However, Gaethje admits although the criticism hurts, he can’t change who he is as a person and fighter.

He did concede he should approach MMA more as a job due to his recent losses, however.

”It’s disappointing more than anything. As much as I want to say I do it for the fans, I don’t do it for the fans, I do it for myself. I do it for my family. This is just the person that I am. I couldn’t change the way I fight if I wanted to. I can be more vigilant about staying in better positions at all times, I cannot become comfortable and I can’t have fun.”

”It needs to be a job to me. It can’t be a complete pleasure for me. I’ve got to go in there and I’ve got to make it a job.”

Gaethje entered the UFC with a perfect 17-0 record. He defeated Michael Johnson in his UFC debut but has since dropped his last two fights to Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez.

Gaethje could be right back in the mix in the lightweight division with a win over the No. 10-ranked Vick.

Mike Straus @AKAstraus21 is a credentialed MMA journalist and a member of the MMAJA. He has been a fan of the sport since its inception and has been covering the sport professionally for three years. In the past, he has produced content for Fansided's Cagepages, mma-media.com, and Combatpress.com. He currently contributes for MyMMANews.com, he is a staff writer for Cagesidepress.com, and LowKickMMA.com. He most recently began writing for BJPenn.com.