It appears that the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s lightweight division will get even deeper very soon.
According to multiple reports, former World Series of Fighting 155-pound king Justin Gaethje will likely sign a contract with the Las Vegas-based promotion soon. WSOF President Ray Sefo confirmed that Gaethje is no longer with his organization on Twitter. MMAFighting.com initially reported Gaethje’s free-agent status last month.
“Wishing Justin Gaethje all the best fighting for [the UFC] and excited to crown a new $1 million lightweight champion,” Sefo wrote.
Gaethje’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, also confirmed the fighter’s departure from WSOF on Twitter. And Gaethje himself retweeted numerous well wishers congratulating him on his move to the UFC.
WSOF recently announced plans to rebrand itself as the Professional Fighters League under new ownership in 2018. The revamped organization will see fighters compete in scheduled bouts throughout a season, and those with the best record will advance to a tournament, with the winners in each weight class receiving a $1 million prize (online betting).
Gaethje, meanwhile, has already established himself as one of the top lightweights outside the UFC. The Grudge Training Center product captured the inaugural WSOF 155-pound belt with a first-round stoppage of Richard Patishnock at WSOF 8 in January 2014. “The Highlight” went the distance just once in 10 WSOF appearances while earning triumphs over the likes of Luis Palomino (twice), Brian Foster, Melvin Guillard, Nick Newell and Gesias Cavalcante, to name a few.