Main eventing for the fourth time in what is still a young UFC career is bittersweet for Justin Gaethje. Gaethje is a man who feeds off the thrill of the fight and appreciates the adulation he has received both from fans and the promotion for his performances in the Octagon, with the fan-favorite slugger winning a fight bonus in each of his four UFC fights. But he also knows that the fighting style that has earned him these honors is the same style that puts him in danger in a five-round fight, and thus should net him a bigger payout (Transcript via MMA Mania):
“I love being there, I love being the last fight of the night, being the highlight of the night and I love being the main billing on a fight card in the UFC. I love my picture being on the poster, all of those things are what I love,” he added.
“But, those two rounds, especially for someone like myself, are the most dangerous rounds that there are. If I do pass away or suffer a serious injury it will probably come in the fourth or fifth round. That’s my only complaint when it comes to that. But again, that’s a small complaint because I am getting a main event on ESPN. The eyeballs are going to be tremendous and it’s going to be great,” said Gaethje, while revealing headlining a UFC event nets a fighter an extra $25,000 payout on top of his or her salary.”
Standing across from Justin Gaethje at UFC Philadelphia will be Edson Barboza, who is known for his share of violence as well. Barboza has taken home seven fight bonuses in his UFC career and has earned 12 knockouts in his career. In looking at the war that is to come, $25,000 does not seem adequate to Gaethje:
“I may sound like spoiled brat when I say an extra $25,000 is not enough, but it is not enough. Who knows what I will get paid, I don’t even want to say, but let’s say I get paid 100/100 for the first three rounds. Then I am getting paid $25,000 for the most crucial, most devastating to my health rounds that there are. And that’s rounds four and five,” he concluded.
What are your thoughts on Justin Gaethje’s complaints?