Exclusive: Justin Gaethje Calls Eddie Alvarez "A Good Stepping Stone"


Undefeated fighter Justin Gaethje has had a busy schedule being a coach at The Ultimate Fighter show and preparing for a big fight at UFC 218, but said he's excited for both the show's finale and his upcoming fight. 

Gaethje spoke to Fightful's James Lynch days before he is set to fight former lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez at UFC 218 in a battle of coaches from this past season of "The Ultimate Fighter" where one of his fighters, Roxanne Modafferi, will fight for the inaugural UFC Women's Flyweight Champion. Gaethje said he enjoyed the experience and would do it again.

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"TUF is a big platform and that's the reason the UFC had me there. Hopefully, they're trying to push me or whatever the case may be. I enjoyed it. I would do it again, but preferably not after a fight," Gaethje said.

Speaking of Alvarez, Gaethje had some high praise for the former UFC champion, but also said Alvarez is a just another step for Gaethje as he tries to climb the UFC ladder after winning his debut fight at "The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale."

"It doesn't matter. He's a former champion, one of the best in the world and that's who I want to showcase my talents which is the best. He's a good stepping stone," Gaethje said.

With a win over Alvarez, Gaethje would further improve his already impressive 18-0 MMA record. Gaethje recognizes that a stoppage win over a former UFC champion would put him in position for a big fight next, but his focus at the moment is to win at UFC 218.

"No indication [of that possibility]. I don't look past my opponent. Eddie is sitting over there. He's a dangerous man and I got to take him out. In this day and age, it's how you win. Obviously, you have to win, but now it's how you win. If I go out there finish him quickly and brutally, I'm going to take a step in the right direction," Gaethje said.

The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale takes place on December 1 and UFC 218 takes place on December 2. Fightful will have live coverage of both of those events. Gaethje's interview with Lynch can be seen in the video above.

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