After recently entering free agency on completion of his current deal, WSOF lightweight champion Justin Gaethje looks set to join the UFC after WSOF President Ray Sefo took to Twitter to congratulate the fighter.
With World Series of Fighting seemingly closing it’s doors in recent weeks to transition over to the newly announced Professional Fighters League, the 28-year-old has apparently chose not to wait for the new project to get underway and has followed the example of fellow WSOF champions Marlon Moraes and David Branch by entering into negotiations with the UFC.
— Ray Sefo (@SugarRaySefo) April 27, 2017
Although Sefo took to Twitter to break the news, a UFC source was quick to confirm that although the Colorado native had indeed entered negotiations, they are still very much “ongoing”. Despite this, it’s surely only a matter of time before Gaethje joins his fellow WSOF alum to the promotion.
Undefeated Gaethje currently holds a record of 17-0 and has become a solid fan favourite during his WSOF title reign by living up to his nickname of “The Highlight” finishing 15 of his 17 fights inside the distance. After winning the WSOF lightweight title in 2014, Gaethje defended the title five times in the past three years against top talents such as Luis Palomino and Luiz Firmino and also won a non-title contest against former UFC veteran Melvin Guillard at WSOF 15 after Guillard missed the weight limit for their scheduled title fight.
Speculation already surrounds who might welcome Gaethje to the Octagon with fans already mentioning Al Iaquinta and the winner of Eddie Alvarez vs. Dustin Poirier at UFC 211 as potential dream match-ups for the long-awaited signing. However, MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani sent out a tweet to say that Edson Barbosa is a name currently being discussed from the stacked lightweight division with the aim being for Gatheje to face the Brazilian in July.
A name that's been discussed for Gaethje's potential debut in July is Barboza but not done and might not even happen. Too early to say.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 27, 2017