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The number #2 ranked UFC lightweight, Justin Gaethje, is training harder than ever. But not in the gym.
Despite graduating from the University of Northern Colorado, ‘The Highlight’ is actually quite illiterate, which many have guessed from the way he often struggles to formulate coherent sentences. For the past 6 months Gaethje has been trying to fix that. But it has not been easy. “I just don’t f**king understand”, Gaethje said while attempting to read the first page of The Cat In The Hat.
Gaethje has taken time away from sharpening his physical tools in the gym, and dedicated it to the library. Since he launched his mission for literacy, he has spent almost 6 hours a day at The Denver Public Library, and has found himself a new training partner; 53 year old librarian, Barbara Anderson. “After just 3 days of training he could do the alphabet by heart. 4 days later he could spell his own first name”, said Ms. Anderson. Iron sharpening iron.
While he is making progress, everyday is still a challenge. “When I signed to fight James Vick, I was too embarrassed to ask for help reading the contract and I thought that the contract was for the McGregor fight. I have never been more let down in my life. Every new contract I get gives me flashbacks.”
Though there are many struggles and obstacles, the former lightweight interim champion continues to remain motivated. “Just last year I didn’t know the names of colors, but guess who has a red ribbon.”, Gaethje said proudly holding up a red ribbon.
Gaethje promises his fans that in just two years time he will be able to read Charlotte’s Web by himself. One thing is certain; there is a long road ahead of the lightweight contender.