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Justin Gaethje Continues to Call For a Guaranteed Purse, And Can You Blame Him?

It remains to be seen when and who Justin Gaethje will fight next, but one thing is certain, “The Highlight” still isn’t down with how his compensation is structured, and can anyone blame the lightweight contender?

For years, hardcore fans have been aware of the fact that Gaethje is one of the most aggressive and entertaining fighters in the game. The accomplished wrestler thrilled fans during his championship run for Word Series of Fighting, and thus, when Gaethje signed with the UFC, there was no shortage of buzz.

Well, since then, Gaethje has lived up to the hype and then some, as his first three bouts in the Octagon were ridiculously entertaining, all-out wars. In Gaethje’s last outing, at UFC FN 135 last August, he quickly knocked out fellow contender, James Vick.

After that win, Gaethje argued that he should be receiving a guaranteed fight purse, regardless of whether he wins or loses, on account of his wildly, entertaining approach to fighting. In a more recent interview with ESPN,  Gaethje reported that he’s asked the UFC to re-structure his deal in that respect, but that he was turned down.

“They should say, ‘Yes, you deserve it, congratulations,’ and put it all over the media,” Gaethje said. “Let everyone know there is a way to achieve that. They should use me as an example for that — but I’m pretty biased when it comes to myself.”

“The conversation was good. They respect what I do and they pay me a lot of money. That’s the truth. But I’ve also earned every bit of it.”

Now, personally, I think all fighters at this level of the game should receive guaranteed purses. Does anyone really think that fighters aren’t going to try winning in the Octagon? If they don’t have a win bonus coming? At the top tiers of this sport there is so much at stake in each bout. Further, guaranteed purses would also help ease the financial stresses many fighters still endure.

But, with Gaethje, his case for a guaranteed purse is undisputable. If the rugged vet wanted to, he could turn to his wrestling game more, look to play it safe via takedowns, and try working for decision wins. Rather than take the chances he does in each outing (although, some have argued his approach is not sustainable).

All this aside, Gaethje also reported he’s hoping to fight again in March, and that he’s hoping to throw down with Al Iaquinta or Edson Barboza next. Both of those match-ups should be on anyone’s must-see list (and thus, we circle back to the argument above).

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