WSOF Lightweight Champ Justin Gaethje plans to finish out current WSOF contract, then find his worth on the market

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

More and more fighters are looking to find out how much they’re worth on the open market, and it’s not just those in the UFC. World Series of Fighting Lightweight Champion Justin Gaethje is the latest to discuss the potential of free agency, and says he plans to find out his worth once he’s fought out his final two contracted bouts with the WSOF.

“I’ve made an investment in my career, and I love World Series and I want to stay with them, but I have two fights left, [and] I’m going to make them impressive, win or lose,” Gaethje said in an interview with after his successful title defense over Brian Foster Saturday night. “I’m OK staying with World Series, but I’m going to see what I’m worth.”

The undefeated champion is now 16-0 overall, with nine of those wins under the WSOF banner. With at least two more left, Gaethje plans to send a further message to any prospective organizations.

“I want to make them know I’m the champ for a reason,” he said of any upcoming opponents. “I will hurt them, or they’re going to get lucky. I know somebody could punch me on the chin and end this, but this is hard work right here, and I’ve been working toward this for a long time. It’s something I’m good at.”

Penick’s Analysis: Gaethje’s an extremely fun fighter to watch, and he’s the type of action fighter who is very appealing to any MMA organization. I can imagine should he hit the market that he’ll find considerable interest from both Bellator and the UFC. However, he’s already made clear he won’t take less money just to fight in the UFC, and though he’s highly entertaining he’s been fighting on low-rated cable events which might not translate to the type of money he thinks he deserves. If WSOF comes at him with something more than the UFC or Bellator, that’s what he’ll take. Regardless, he should get a sizable payday should he remain champion after these next two fights.

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