The Mexican heart that makes Justin Gaethje proud


Few UFC fighters embody the “Mexican style” like Justin Gaethje, who will face Michael Chandler at UFC 268. And it is no coincidence, although many find it hard to believe, the Arizona-born fighter always insists that he is “Mexican on the inside.” His mother, Carolina Espinoza, was born in Sonora and he grew up with his maternal grandparents, who took care of him while his parents were at work.

Although he never learned to speak Spanish, he likes to show that courage of Mexican warriors in their fights.

“When you see me fight, you know that I am Mexican. My mom made a mistake in the past, Spanish must have been my first language. I couldn’t speak well with my nana (grandmother) and it’s a shame. They used me to help her learn English, my tata (grandfather) spoke English, but my nanny did not speak ”, explains Gaethje in an interview with ESPN Deportes.

He has encountered diverse reactions when he boasts his roots, but he assures that the followers in Mexico respond better and better: “My father is called Guadalupe, my nana Teresa. My aunts Esperanza, Patricia, Cristina is the youngest, Teresa is the oldest, Carolina is my mother. (Being Mexican) is inside of me, I promise you, I want to go fight in Mexico and see the fans, I know I have many fans and that is what excites me the most, “he added.

Despite his intentions, he knows that fighting in Mexico City can be a challenge, due to the altitude: “I would love it, I would prefer it to be in Cabo San Lucas or Puerto Vallarta, something like that and not in Mexico City, where we don’t have to deal with 6 thousand feet high. Wherever they tell me that the ocean is near, I will sign up ”.

Gaethje was present at UFC 263, when Brandon Moreno was crowned flyweight champion and he knows it will be a key moment: “It was huge for all of Mexico, if you are proud of the Mexican heritage it was fantastic to see him face adversity. He was a very tough opponent and he faced him with his Mexican heart, with his Mexican spirit and it was incredible to see him, ”he added.

Among his current teammates, there is Rafa García, originally from Mexicali, who on November 20 will seek his first victory in the UFC when he faces newcomer Natan Levy. Justin will be in your corner after camping together.

“If I remember correctly, his first fight was a last minute replacement. This is a learning process, he entered very young and I think he is growing exponentially, in each fight he will grow, I will help him, I will be in his corner on November 20, as a coach, ”he shared.

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