Gaethje took on fellow lightweight contender Dustin Poirier last night, and the two went to war, as everyone expected. Gaethje battered Poirier with his feared leg kicks from the opening horn, but the latter kept taking them, and punished “The Highlight” with punches. After round three, it looked as though Poirier was breaking down, but “The Diamond” cracked Gaethje with some big punches and scored a fourth round, stoppage.
Well, after the jaw dropping contest, Gaethje told the media this (quote via MMA Fighting):
“I’ve got about five fights in me,” Gaethje said. “Before this I said I’ve got six. … I want the biggest fights possible. Coming off two losses, that’s hard to say, but you want to see me fight. But, if you don’t see me fight live, you will regret it when I’m done. It’s not going to be very long. I’ve got five left.”
“…I don’t fight to win or lose, as stupid and crazy as that sounds,” Geathje added. “I go in there to entertain people This is the entertainment business. I go in there and I fight for money. That’s what I do, and it helps me to get paid.”
Now, ordinarily, while discussing a fighter who is only 29 and who is ranked in the top ten, talk like this would come as a complete shocker. But, when you consider Gaethje’s approach, and how much punishment he absorbs, would anyone be that surprised if he decided it was best to retire? In say two years?
Of course, there’s also a chance that Gaethje will reconsider his style and make some tweaks, and he proceeds to score some clean wins in the coming months. Then, perhaps he would rethink this exit plan, especially if he’s still participating in high stakes fights and collecting big checks.
Gaethje was fighting for the first time since December, when he was KO’d by Eddie Alvarez. That fight marked the first time the former WSOF champ’s career that he had been defeated.