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Justin Gaethje Reflects On KO Streak: “I’m Fighting Completely Different”

Justin Gaethje took a moment to explain the changes that led to him scoring back-to-back knockouts of James Vick and Edson Barboza. 

The former WSOF champion will take on Donald Cerrone in the UFC Vancouver headliner – a bout that understandably has fans salivating.

If you want to know how we think that contest is going to shape up, read our official prediction here.

Speaking in a recent interview with MMAFighting, The Highlight explained how minor tweaks in his style have resulted in his ability to get esteemed competition like Barboza and Vick out of there so fast.

Gaethje has power in his hands, there’s no doubt about it, and now, with these subtle tweaks in his approach, he believes that he can continue his streak by taking the chin of his fellow fan favourite Cerrone.

“I think if you look at it on paper, it tells a story. I am fighting completely different. The number of punches I throw has decreased by like 70 percent, 80 percent. I’ve really found I hit hard as f—k so I know I just have to touch them but I used to go in there and try too hard.

“My coach would always tell me ‘if you just try a little bit less, you’ll knock people out, you’ll find those shots you’re trying to fight’ and after the [Dustin] Poirier fight, I was able to go back to the drawing board and make some adjustments and I really think that I am fighting way different.

“I think you’re seeing me at my smartest. That’s my best absolutely.

“My fights will always be the most exciting. When I’m done, I will be remembered as the most exciting fighter to ever do this.”

As for his approach to taking out Cerrone on Saturday night, Justin believes that his own confidence is mirrored in his opponent but when the first bell sounds, it will be his pressure that will make the difference.

“Right when ticket sales went on, they sold a ton of tickets and there’s a reason. Every time I fight, someone is going to sleep. I’m 100 percent right now and when I’m done, I hope I’m still at 100 percent. Either they go to sleep or I go to sleep, that’s what I’m here for.

“He has a kid now so he’s fighting for a different reason. That’s huge in what we do. Self-confidence is huge and the reason why you’re fighting is absolutely critical. For him to have that is super dangerous for me but at the end of the day, a fight’s a fight.

“Right when that bell rings we’re playing with fractions of inches so I’m going to go in there and put pressure on him just like I need to and find his body. Start at his legs and work my way up to his head.”

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Author: Cillian Cunningham

Lead mixed martial arts writer who can be contacted at cillian@punditarena.com.