Growing up in Safford, Ariz., sports always played a huge role in professional fighter Justin Gaethje’s upbringing. Along with twin brother Marcus, the rambunctious boys were usually teammates — except when performing headlocks on each other by the time they were toddlers.
Justin fell in love with wrestling at the tender age of 4 and by the time he was a freshman at Safford High School, he was able to throw his coach down in front of the entire team. When his junior year rolled around, he was voted the most outstanding wrestler at the state tournament, and during his senior year, none of his opponents even gave him a competitive match.
Still an unfinished product, Gaethje enrolled at the University of Northern Colorado to wrestle for coach Ben Cherrington. It was during this time that he started to realize wrestling could lead to a future in MMA. Cherrington would go on to orchestrate Gaethje's first ever fight, and that was all the inspiration he’d need. He relentlessly committed to hone his craft, and his ensuing success has paved the way to the UFC in a career that’s yet to see him lose a fight.