Justin Gaethje Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Justin Gaethje is an American mixed martial artist born on November 14, 1988. He fights in the Lightweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Gaethje turned pro in 2011. He’s been an Interim Lightweight Champion and even held the UFC BMF title. He’s only the second fighter to grab the BMF belt which he won at UFC 291. As of April 16, 2024, he’s ranked #3 in the UFC lightweight rankings.

Full NameJustin Ray Gaethje
Date of BirthNovember 14, 1988
Place of BirthSafford, Arizona, USA
OccupationProfessional Mixed Martial Artist (MMA Fighter)
Height5 feet 11 inches (180 cm)
PartnerSophia Romano
Net Worth$5 million

Justin Gaethje’s Early Life and Education

Justin Gaethje Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Justin Ray Gaethje was born in Tucson Arizona on November 14, 1988, and grew up in Safford Arizona. His mom Carolina Gaethje is Mexican and his dad John Ray is German. Both his grandpas were copper miners and his paternal grandpa even boxed while in the Army.

Justin’s dad retired from mining in 2019 after 36 years. He has two sisters and a twin brother who also worked in the mine. At 18 Justin worked there for a summer doing long shifts seven days a week. He only took one sick day in three months.

Before leaving for college some coworkers told Justin he wouldn’t make it. That just fueled his determination to succeed.

Justin Gaethje’s wrestling journey is quite impressive. Starting at such a young age and then excelling throughout high school and college shows his dedication and talent in the sport. Graduating with an outstanding record from Safford High School and then transitioning to the NCAA Division I level at the University of Northern Colorado demonstrates his commitment to pushing himself to the highest levels of competition.

His achievements at the collegiate level including becoming an All-American are a testament to his skill and hard work. Remarkably, he was able to make history at Northern Colorado by being the first wrestler since 1970 to attain Division I All-American status. Even facing challenges like struggling with weight cutting in his senior year he persevered and continued to perform at a high level.

Being inducted into the University of Northern Colorado Athletics Hall of Fame is a well-deserved honor for Justin Gaethje recognizing his significant contributions to the sport of wrestling and his alma mater. His passion and dedication to wrestling have been key factors in his success both on and off the mat.


Justin Gaethje Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Justin Gaethje got into MMA while he was in college starting with wrestling against some big names like Georges St-Pierre and Donald Cerrone. He decided to give this new sport a try but his coaches said he needed to improve his grades first. Once he did he had his first amateur fight during his sophomore year and knocked out his opponent with a slam.

After a successful amateur run, he turned pro in 2011 and won his first fight by slamming his opponent who tried to submit him. He kept winning in Colorado and Arizona even beating a UFC veteran in just 12 seconds.

Then he joined the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) in 2012. His first fight ended quickly due to a cut on his opponent’s eye. He continued winning with leg kicks and a right uppercut. By January 2014 he became the WSOF Lightweight Champion by knocking out his opponent in the first round.

He defended his title against tough opponents like Nick Newell and Luis Palomino winning with a right hook and leg kicks respectively. Despite a suspension for an over-the-top celebration he continued to dominate his fights defending his title multiple times until he finally stopped because of an injury to his opponent’s eye.

On May 4, 2017, Justin Gaethje said goodbye to his WSOF title and joined the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He had his first UFC match against Michael Johnson on July 7, 2017. It was intense but Gaethje won in the second round by punches and knees earning himself two awards. That year his fight with Johnson was considered the best and the second round was named the best round.

Then on July 13, 2017, it was announced that Gaethje would coach The Ultimate Fighter 26 with Eddie Alvarez. They were supposed to fight each other after coaching. Their match happened on December 2, 2017. Gaethje lost that fight but it was a big moment for him. He said it was a dream come true to fight at such a high level.

In 2018, Justin Gaethje fought Dustin Poirier on April 14 and lost again. But his leg kicks caused some serious damage to Poirier. Later that year he won against James Vick and earned his fifth bonus award.

The next year Gaethje had more victories. He beat Edson Barboza and Donald Cerrone in the first round. Then he stepped in for a match against Tony Ferguson in April 2020 and won breaking Ferguson’s winning streak.

In October 2020, Justin Gaethje fought Khabib Nurmagomedov for the Lightweight Championship but lost. However, he bounced back in 2021 with a win against Michael Chandler. Gaethje also faced Charles Oliveira in May 2022 for the Lightweight Championship but lost via submission.

In 2023, he had a tough fight against Rafael Fiziev but won by decision. Gaethje also had a rematch with Dustin Poirier in July 2023 and won by knockout. However, he lost a championship match against Max Holloway in April 2024. Despite the loss he earned a significant bonus because of an increase in post-fight bonuses by the UFC.

Fighting style

Justin Gaethje Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Justin Gaethje is a really good fighter in the UFC’s lightweight division. Even though he’s great at wrestling he hardly ever tries to take his opponents down. Instead, he prefers to stand and trade punches which is more exciting for the fans.

He’s known for having powerful punches and for kicking his opponents’ legs hard. After losing a fight to Dustin Poirier in 2018 Gaethje admitted he could have used his wrestling skills more but he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. He thought wrestling would tire him out too much and he’d rather get tired from fighting.

Later in a 2020 interview, Justin Gaethje said he realized that while winning is important being entertaining can help him make more money. He saw that fighters who win boring fights don’t get paid as much because fewer people watch them. So he decided to fight excitingly to get more opportunities and make more money.

His coach Trevor Wittman said that after Gaethje lost two fights in a row he changed his mindset. He still likes to put pressure on his opponents but now he’s more careful about when he takes risks and trades punches. Gaethje told his coach that he still wants to be a champion in the UFC not just the most exciting fighter.

What Is Justin Gaethje’s Net Worth?

Justin Gaethje’s Net Worth is estimated to be $5 Million as of 2024, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Personal Life

Justin Gaethje Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Justin Gaethje graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in Human Services. He wants to work with young people who are at risk. His last name comes from his dad who is German-American.

In 2016, Gaethje had eye surgery to fix his vision. Before he couldn’t see well at all. He had really bad vision like 20/60 in one eye and 20/200 in the other. He also had different problems with each eye.

Before the surgery Gaethje’s eyesight was so bad that he had to touch his opponent to know where to hit them.

Justin Gaethje and Sophia Romano are dating. They connected through a dating app.

In 2020, Gaethje went to a rally for President Trump with UFC President Dana White fighters Colby Covington and Henry Cejudo and manager Ali Abdelaziz. Trump acknowledged them at the rally. Gaethje thanked Trump for helping UFC grow. Gaethje also has his own YouTube channel.