Meet Justin Ray Gaethje, whose stage name is Justin Gaethje. He is a professional mixed martial artist who competes in the Lightweight division of the UFC.
Justin was born in Safford, Arizona, and started wrestling at the age of four. He became a two-time Arizona state champion in high school and an NCAA Division I All-American during college.
Gaethje turned pro in 2011 and joined the WSOF in 2013, where he won the Lightweight Championship and defended it five times before moving to the UFC in 2017. He also held the Interim UFC Lightweight Championship title.
Currently, he is ranked #3 in the UFC lightweight rankings as of May 2022. Let’s read about his full biography and net worth, age, family, married life, nationality, ethnicity, wife, and children below.
Justin Gaethje Biography
Justin Gaethje, also known as “The Highlight,” is a 34-year-old professional mixed martial artist from Safford, Arizona. He competes in the Lightweight division and stands at 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing 155 pounds.
His fighting style is primarily wrestling, and he currently trains with the Genesis Training Center and Elevation Fight Team under the guidance of Trevor Wittman. Gaethje began his MMA career in 2011 and has been active ever since.
He was previously associated with the Grudge Training Center from 2011 to 2016. Gaethje also has a background in NCAA Division I Wrestling. His reach measures at 69 and a half inches.
Age | Date of Birth
Justin Gaethje was born on November 14, 1988 , which makes him 34 years old as of March 20, 2023.
Nationality | Ethnicity
Justin Gaethje’s nationality is American (duhoctrungquoc.vn)). His mother, Carolina (née Espinoza), is of Mexican descent from Sonora, Mexico and his father, John Ray Gaethje, is of German descent .
Parents | Family
Carolina (née Espinoza) and John Ray Gaethje are the parents of Justin Gaethje. His mother is from Sonora, Mexico, and is of Mexican descent. His father, on the other hand, is of German descent.
His mother was a postmaster, and his father and both of his grandfathers were copper miners. His father’s father was in the U.S. Army and boxed while he was there.
Gaethje’s dad, Ray, has worked at the Morenci mine for 36 years as a copper miner. He will retire in September 2019. Gaethje has two older sisters. Marcus John Gaethje, who is his twin brother, worked at the Morenci mine for almost 10 years.
Gaethje worked at the Morenci mine for a summer when he was 18. He told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto in 2020, “I worked 12 hours every day, seven days a week. I did it every day for three months and only took one sick day to sleep.
I did 96 hours one week.” Gaethje remembered that just before he left the mine to go to college, two of his coworkers told him, “You’ll be right back, but you’re not going to do well in college. You’ll be back right away.” Gaethje was inspired by this to do well in life.
Justin Gaethje went to Safford High School to get his high school diploma.  As a wrestler at Safford High School, he won the Arizona state championship twice.
He also wrestled for the University of Northern Colorado. As a junior, he was an All-American in NCAA Division I. The University of Northern Colorado gave Justin Gaethje a bachelor’s degree in social services. 
It is projected that Justin Gaethje has a net worth of $4 million as of the month of March 2023. 
Justin Gaethje began his MMA career in 2011 after graduating from the University of Northern Colorado. He quickly gained attention for his exciting fighting style and knockout power, which earned him the nickname “The Highlight.”
He signed with the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) in 2013 and won the WSOF Lightweight Championship in January 2014. He defended the title five times and was regarded as one of the top lightweights outside of the UFC.
UFC Debut | Rise to Contender Status
Gaethje signed with the UFC in 2017 and made his debut against Michael Johnson in a fight that was widely regarded as one of the best in UFC history. Gaethje won the fight by TKO in the second round and earned Fight of the Night honors.
He continued his winning ways with knockouts over notable opponents such as Edson Barboza, James Vick, and Donald Cerrone. Gaethje’s aggressive fighting style and willingness to take risks made him a fan favorite and propelled him to contender status in the Lightweight division.
Interim UFC Lightweight Championship | Fight of the Year
In May 2020, Gaethje fought Tony Ferguson for the interim UFC Lightweight Championship. He dominated the fight and won by TKO in the fifth round, earning Performance of the Night honors. This win set up a title unification bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov, which took place in October 2020.
Although Gaethje lost the fight by submission, he earned widespread praise for his performance and was awarded Fight of the Night honors. The fight was also named the 2020 MMA Fight of the Year by several media outlets.
Recent Fights | Awards
In his most recent fights, Gaethje lost to current UFC Lightweight Champion Charles Oliveira and bounced back with a dominant TKO victory over Michael Chandler.
Recent Fights | Awards
- UFC 254 – Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje – October 24, 2020 – Gaethje lost to Nurmagomedov via submission (triangle choke) in the second round.
- UFC Fight Night: Edwards vs. Muhammad – March 13, 2021 – Gaethje did not compete in this event.
- UFC 268 – Usman vs. Covington 2 – November 6, 2021 – Gaethje is scheduled to fight Michael Chandler in the co-main event.
- Fight of the Night (three times)
- Performance of the Night (four times)
- Knockout of the Year (2017) – for his knockout of Michael Johnson at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale on July 7, 2017.
- All-Violence First Team (2017, 2018, 2019) – an award given by MMA journalist, Luke Thomas, to the most violent and exciting fighters in the sport.
Children | Wife
Justin Gaethje is not married. As of March 2023, he does not have any children. Justin Gaethje is currently dating Sophia Romano. 
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