UFC TUF 25 Finale Main Event – UFC Lightweight Bout
Justin Gaethje will make his UFC debut in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale on Friday 7th July. Gaethje comes across from WSOF with an undefeated record after seventeen fights. He meets Michael Johnson, who ensured everyone that he isn’t a gatekeeper by saying that ‘I’m not here to welcome guys from the C-league.‘
Height: 5’10” (178cm)
Reach: 74.0″ (188cm)
After Michael Johnson had knocked out Dustin Poirier in just 95 seconds at UFC Fight Night 94, he said to Jon Anik, ‘give me anyone in the division next.’ Well, his wish was granted and he was given a match against the most feared lightweight in the world, Khabib Nurmagomedov. Johnson’s striking was on point in the first round, and he managed to tag Khabib with some heavy punches. But, as soon as Khabib gets his hands on you – it’s all over. Nurmagomedov took Johnson to the mat and pounded him while telling Johnson “You have to give up.”
After what is arguably the toughest fight in the division, Johnson now has another extreme challenge in welcoming former WSOF lightweight champion Justin Gaethje.
Height: 5’11” (181cm)
Reach: 71.0″ (180cm)
Justin Gaethje is well-known to hardcore fans of mixed martial arts. He’s accumulated an impressive seventeen wins and zero defeats through his mixed martial arts career. Gaethje started wrestling at the age of four and continued all the way up until becoming a NCAA Division I wrestler. Once there, he realised that he wanted to compete in mixed martial arts. He signed to World Series of Fighting in 2013 and managed to win the lightweight title just one year later before defending it successfully five times.
There’s no doubting that Justin Gaethje is going to be involved in many spectacular fights in his time with the UFC. But I have my doubts about whether he can continue to fight in the same manner considering the punishment he absorbs along the way.
Let’s start by saying that this fight has all the potential to be one of the most entertaining bouts of the year. Gaethje only knows how to walk forward. He is willing to absorb strikes in order to land his powerful lunging punches or his damaging leg kicks. Gaethje is rarely in an uneventful fight.
This style of fighting could cause Gaethje a whole world of pain against a talented striker like Micahel Johnson, though. Johnson’s striking has significantly improved. He lit up Dustin Poirier with punches, who himself has come a long way with his striking. Johnson will have no trouble landing his shots against Gaethje, who occasionally finds himself standing flat-footed and eats all kinds of punches.
The test for Johnson in this fight is whether he can overcome the adversity of having an opponent who keeps on bringing the heat. If Johnson falls behind in the fight, does he have the mentality to continue? We’ll find out in the TUF 25 Finale main event.
Prediction and Betting Strategy
Justin Gaethje enters the UFC with plenty of hype. Many fans believe that he will storm the lightweight rankings.
Now, time for my prediction. I don’t think Gaethje makes it past Michael Johnson.
Gaethje takes way too much damage, and Johnson’s hands are lightning-fast. I think Johnson puts a beatdown on Gaethje standing up and it may be over not long after it begins.
Michael Johnson to win by KO/TKO
A bold prediction, yes. But, I’m confident that it’s the best bet here.
Michael Johnson vs. Justin Gaethje
Michael Johnson to win by KO/TKO
Friday 7th July – 11:30 pm (ET) / 3:30am GMT
Odds: -120 – Skybet