WSOF’s Justin Gaethje Has Superstar Potential

Gaethje-Patishnock The World Series of Fighting has a potential superstar on their hands. Justin Gaethje, the 25-year-old phenom who became the first-ever WSOF lightweight champion with his first-round TKO victory over Richard Patishnock in the main event of WSOF 8 this past weekend, is quickly making a name for himself in the world of MMA. With an 11-0 record to start his pro career, along with a 7-0 record as an amateur, Gaethje has shown little signs of struggle in his bouts and it’s hard to say what holes, if any, he has in his game. Although nine of his 11 victories have come via T/KO (plus another via submission), most that aren’t aware of Gaethje’s martial arts background assume he’s a striker. But that’s not the case. In actuality, Gaethje is a wrestler and he was an NCAA Division 1 All-American at the University of Northern Colorado, as well as a two-time Arizona state champion. And yet he hasn’t even had to use his wrestling chops on the national MMA scene thus far, as he’s just ran rampant through all his opponents with his incredible striking that sees him mix in punches, elbows, knees and kicks in nearly flawless fashion. Most of the time, I’m very skeptical when it comes to MMA prospects because we’ve seen time and time again that a lot of them get hyped up and then don’t pan out. But in Gaethje’s case, I’m a firm believer in his abilities and I honestly feel like he has all the makings of a future superstar in the sport. In fact, I’ve been so impressed with what I’ve seen out of the youngster so far that I honestly believe he could be wearing UFC gold around his waist in a few years. Some may say that I’m overselling Gaethje, and that if you look at his wins he hasn’t shown he’s been able to beat a top 10 fighter. And while it’s true that he hasn’t beat someone in the top 10 yet, it’s only because he hasn’t had a chance to. The truth is, even though WSOF has been doing their best to find him capable opponents, none of the fighters he’ll fight in that promotion are as good as the top guys in the UFC. But they’re still pretty damn good. In Gaethje’s four fights in WSOF, three of the fighters he stopped — Dan Lauzon, Brian Cobb, and JZ Cavalcante — were previously in the UFC or Strikeforce. And he also has a victory over UFC vet Drew Fickett from his days on the regional circuit. So it’s not like he’s been beating cans, he’s been beating the best guys not in the UFC and Bellator. And he’s not just beating them, he’s destroying them. But while Gaethje hasn’t beat any of the top-ranked fighters in the world, he has defeated some solid opponents and the most important thing is that he’s beat them with ease and always in entertaining fashion. He’s shown all the skills of a fighter who is about to break out, and you have to know that UFC matchmaker Joe Silva has his eyes on Gaethje and will offer him a deal as soon as his contract with WSOF runs out. For now, though, Gaethje will fight whoever WSOF puts in front of him, and he’ll more than likely beat them all down in impressive fashion. The critics will say that he’s beating lackluster opposition and that when he steps up in competition level he’ll falter, but I won’t be. I believe in Gaethje and I am confident he is going to make waves in the big show in the next few years. And I really think there’s a good chance that one day he’ll be recognized as the best fighter in the world at his weight class, and become a superstar in the sport of MMA.

Written by Adam Martin.

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