Justin Gaethje is ready to fight again and this time he has Kevin Lee in his sights. In the aftermath of Gaethje’s war with Eddie Alvarez, he said that he’d target late 2018 for his return. It appears that sentiment may be shifting. In an interview on the MMA Hour, Gaethje said, “I’m sure I’ll get the itch sooner rather than later.” “I said I wanted to wait around until June, July. But I’m sure I’ll get the itch sooner.” He continued by saying, “It’s too soon, but we’ll see how things play out.” “I might want to beat up Kevin Lee, that kid over there I want to beat up.” Regarding Lee, Gaethje said, “First time I ever met him, he was nice.” “Then [Lee] talked shit saying I was fan-boying over him. He doesn’t know what respect is. I’ll never show him respect again, that’s for sure.”
Both Lee and Gaethje lost high profile fights in the lightweight division in 2017. Lee to Tony Ferguson for the interim lightweight world championship and Gaethje to Alvarez.
Heydorn’s Analysis: These two are perfect opponents for each other. They are both coming off significant losses but remain players in the division. They each have unique personalities as well which would help sell the fight and whatever card they ended up on. That said, if I’m Gaethje, I’d be careful. Kevin Lee is a difficult opponent who has a style that greatly contrasts with what Gaethje typically likes to do. Gaethje will need to alter his own style and defend if he wants the victory over Lee.
WEDNESDAY NEWS NOTEBOOK
–Cynthia Calvillo out for six months. Due to a medical suspension because of damage sustained at UFC 219 against Carla Esparza, Cynthia Calvillo will be sidelined for six months. Neil Magny, Edson Barboza, and Holly Holm also received lengthy medical suspensions due to their UFC 219 losses.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I hate to see this news because it means fighters can’t make money. At the same time, the medical suspensions are needed to protect fighters from themselves and to keep them healthy.
–UFC strips press credentials from JacksonWink staff member. After JacksonWink staffer and photographer, Mark Aragon, called Cris Cyborg a man in a social media post after UFC 219, the UFC has revoked his press credentials. The UFC released a statement that said, “UFC does not condone or tolerate the remarks that were used. The organization has reached out to the JacksonWink team to inform them that the individual in question will not be granted access for future events.”
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good. The guy is a moron and doesn’t deserve access to talent if he is going to treat them poorly. Smart move by the UFC.
–Greg Hardy set for his third amateur fight. Former NFL player, Greg Hardy, will return to the MMA world for his third amateur fight. At LFA 33, Hardy will compete in the heavyweight division against Ryan Chester. Hardy is 2-0 in his career.
–Miesha Tate announces that she’s pregnant. Former UFC women’s bantamweight world champion, Miesha Tate, announced that she is pregnant with her first child. Tate took to Instagram to let the world know that her and Johnny Nunez are expecting a baby girl. Tate retired from the UFC after losing to Raquel Pennington at UFC 205.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Congrats to the couple. Miesha Tate was a pioneer of women’s MMA and deserves all the happiness in the world.
NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS NEWS: MONDAY NEWS DIGEST 1/1/18: Conor McGregor addresses Khabib Nurmagomedov and the UFC via Twitter rant (w/ Heydorn’s analysis)