Gaethje and Alvarez are set to battle on the main card of Saturday’s event, in a fight that is on every hardcore fan’s must see list. After all, we’re talking about two of the UFC’s most aggressive and rugged lightweights. In the case of Gaethje, we might be talking about one of the most aggressive and violent fighters on the UFC roster.
Thus, this is why, the former WSOF champ recently said the following (quote via MMA Junkie):
“I would rather lose than not get a finish I don’t want to win a boring decision,” Gaethje said. “That’s the last thing I want. It’s impossible. It’s either I get finished, or he gets finished. That’s how I fight. It’s life or death.”
Now, although Gaethje doesn’t see the fight going 15 minutes, the lightweight also said this, while discussing the approach he expects Alvarez to take:
“He’s talking a big game, but I still think he’s going to try and stick me against the fence and hold me there,” Gaethje relayed. “I’m a Division I wrestler, so I’ve got to focus on keeping him off me and landing hard punches and kicks, making him quit. I don’t know how many times he’s been finished, but I’m shooting to finish him, that’s for sure.”
It certainly wouldn’t be surprising if Alvarez looks to clinch up, or take Gaethje down in the early going, in an effort to tire the latter out. The big question is, will that tactic work? As Gaethje noted, he’s also an experienced wrestler, and he competed at a higher level than Alvarez did.
But, there’s no question that Alvarez has been overlooked before. Not too many people were predicting that he’d take out Rafael dos Anjos in the opening round. As UFC 218 nears, Gaethje is a favorite to win the bout in the -180 to -195 range.
Saturday’s card will be go down in Detroit, Michigan.