This past weekend, there were two cards. On Friday night, the MMA world watched one the leading candidate for FOTY between former WSOF champion Justin Gaethje and Michael Johnson. Gaethje had long been considered one of the best fighters outside of the UFC, and his knockout of the fifth-ranked lightweight helped affirm that. He pulled Johnson into a slugfest and outlasted him, finishing him in the second round.
Gaethje's style is exciting and will draw extra eyes on his future fights. His style is also dangerous for someone that wants a title. He was almost knocked out multiple times against Johnson, and you cannot always rely on an iron chin against the hardest hitters in the division. He did show improvement in his stand up from a technical standpoint, but he can't afford to keep taking shots like he did.
This is exactly why the UFC needs to make an aggressive push for the gold for him. He's a very exciting fighter that fans want to watch, and it's best to push him now before his style catches up to him and he gets finished. I'd really like to see him fight Ferguson for the interim belt, as they're both high volume strikers that can take a punch. If not Ferguson, I would say Poirier or Alvarez, as both are at the elite of the division and would likely give Gaethje a strong enough resumé to then fight for the belt. Please, UFC, make Gaethje a big deal. The man is a walking highlight reel and can do great things in the octagon.