Justin Gaethje has recently made headlines, but not for his upcoming career plans. In an unexpected turn of events, Gaethje was captured on video wrestling with a NELK bodyguard at a social event. What transpired during this encounter has left both fans and experts speculating about Gaethje’s future in the UFC lightweight division.
While many anticipate that Gaethje could be the next opponent for UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev, his recent grappling session has raised eyebrows. Surprisingly, the NELK bodyguard managed to force ‘The Highlight’ to tap out with a kimura, showcasing an unexpected set of skills.
The unidentified bodyguard is associated with the Nelk Boys, a popular YouTube group. While his background in MMA or jiu-jitsu remains undisclosed, his apparent proficiency in applying shoulder-locking techniques has intrigued onlookers.
What makes this situation more intriguing is Gaethje’s own wrestling background. Before becoming a hard-hitting knockout artist in MMA, he had a successful wrestling career at the University of Northern Colorado, where he was named an NCAA Division I All-American. Prior to that, he was the Arizona high school state champion, emphasizing his strong wrestling foundation.
This unexpected submission has led some fans to jestingly suggest that the NELK bodyguard should be in line for a shot at the lightweight title after seemingly besting the number one contender. Gaethje has not responded publicly to the video, leaving the MMA community in suspense regarding his next move.
The jests surrounding Gaethje’s title shot stem from his recent comments in an interview with ESPN. Expressing his confusion about potential opponents, Gaethje stated, “Who do I fight? There’s no one. I don’t know what else I need to do.” Despite being on a two-fight winning streak, including a knockout victory over Dustin Poirier, Gaethje finds himself in a challenging position with no clear path to the title.
It’s also worth noting that UFC President Dana White has expressed his interest in a rematch between Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira following UFC 294. Gaethje’s reluctance to engage in a social media feud with Max Holloway further complicates the situation, as he expressed his admiration for Holloway, suggesting he wouldn’t want to fight him.