Fans who also follow MMA events that don’t include the letters U-F-C, have been more than familiar with Gaethje for quite a while now. After all, Gaethje started making a name for himself when he joined WSOF back in 2013, and he became one of the top lightweights outside of the UFC, by winning 10 straight and the promotion’s 155 belt.
In July, Gaethje made his Octagon debut, and went on to stop Michael Johnson in what was one of the best fights of the year. Then, Gaethje was tapped to coach opposite of Alvarez on TUF 26. That’s typically a move the UFC does to extensively promote a fighter, and get them some mainstream awareness.
“When UFC wants something, they get it, you know what I mean? If they want you to fight, you’re going to fight they want you to fight. There is not much of a negotiation going on there, especially with me,” said Alvarez.
“I am pretty easy going, I’m not the type of guy that’s like, I want this guy, I want that guy. I don’t think UFC wanted that (Poirier) fight, they liked Justin Gaethje, they want to move him and they want to use my name to move him. But guess what? I have other intentions, know what I mean? I get the game, I know how it works and I have been on the other side of it as a young kid coming up, so I see what they want to do, and that’s the fun part of this.”
You can understand why Alvarez feels this way, as there’s no doubt that there’s a fair amount of hype tied to Gaethje right now. But, if Alvarez can score an impressive win over Gaethje on December 2nd, he’ll probably receive a big push too. He is a former lightweight champ after all.
Alvarez is coming off a no-contest ruling against Dustin Poirier in May, after the latter was unable to continue due to an illegal knee to the head.