Joe Rogan Experience MMA: Justin Gaethje & Trevor Wittman

Joe Rogan (@joerogan)speaks with UFC Interim Lightweight Champion Justin Gaethje (@justin_gaethje) and his trainer Trevor Wittmann (@onxlabs) in episode 96 of the Joe Rogan Experience MMA.

Here are our takeaways from the conversation.


  • Justin Gaethje started training with Trevor Wittmann from 2009
  • Justin Gaethje had no striking capability for 5 fights during his amateur career
  • Trevor Wittmann thinks that the ability for a fighter to control his/her thoughts is key to everything
  • Justin Gaethje wears no groin protector cups during sparring
  • Apparently DEXA Scans at the UFC Performance Institute showed that Gaethje might have the densest bones of any UFC fighter
  • After losses to Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier, Gaethje changed his purpose from wanting to be the most exciting fighter to becoming the world champion
  • Trevor Wittmann works to bring specialized MMA training equipment with ONX Sports
  • Dyaco is the current global equipment and fitness accessory partner for UFC
  • Justin Gaethje saw Tony Ferguson break eye contact during the faceoff and knew that he had him
  • Justin Gaethje wants to beat Khabib Nurmagamedov and then fight Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier


00:51 – Trevor Wittmann Opening a New Gym with a handful of athletes

02:50 – Justin Gaethje Zero Striking Experience when he came to Trevor Wittmann

05:53 – 1 on 1 training of athletes

15:10 – Justin Gaethje’s mental preparation before a fight

24:17 – Justin Gaethje funny moment during Dustin Poirier fight & James Vick fight

35:10 – Trevor Wittman on being the best fighter and how to fight intelligently

53:48 – Trevor Wittmann on his psychology for helping his fighters win

56:45 – Trevor Wittmann on reactions and responses in MMA

1:11:45 – About Shane Carwin, Frank Mir, and Brock Lesnar

1:19:37 – Discussion on TRT

1:25:45 – ONX Sports

2:06:28 – Thoughts on Strength and Conditioning

2:12:42 – Joe Rogan on Fear Factor

2:16:00 – About Coronavirus and UFC Fights

2:22:03 – Justin Gaethje on a future title fight with Khabib and strategy

2:23:05 – About Henry Cejudo

2:26:47 – Justin Gaethje on a future title fight with Khabib and strategy

2:35:00 – Justin Gaethje on Tony Ferguson fight staredown

2:38:28 – Justin Gaethje on a potential fight with Conor McGregor


  • “I pull back a lot on him (Gaethje) and that’s the key to peaking. A lot of times, people just push hard, push hard, push hard and that’s another huge issue in the sport, is overtraining.”
  • “You have to be intelligent to be the best fighter in the world you’ve got to be the best defensive fighter. Don’t change who you are naturally but you have to understand defense and defense starts with position. Always starts with position. You have to know position, you have to win every position.”
  • “The best fighters in the world can always match a good match. But it’s the first one that makes a mistake is the one who loses. That’s where momentum is so important in sports. Momentum is everything…find one mistake and you build on that mistake…now you start to capitalize…once you got someone make a mistake after mistake after mistake, that’s when you crumble on them.”
  • “If you stay in control of yourself that’s the key to everything in this world”
  • “If you listen to anything else on the outside and you start to adapt to other things, you’re never going to live the way you want to live. And to be a fighter you have to be in control of yourself all the time.”
  • “The best fighters are the best actors. The ones that can trick yourself. Fake it till you make it. Till you get to the championship. And you have to live that way, you have to obsess never being broken and even if you break, accept it and then on to the next. Don’t deal with it.”
  • “Some of the nicest guys are the ones that perform the best. The ones that are going to help a lady cross a street. They fight for something.”
  • “You have to have your goals set in place and once you start to break those rules you’re really not grabbing the wheel, you’re letting it coast, and that’s where you start to spiral downhill or go off track.”
  • “My psychology is tricking people to win. Is how do you get out there and do it and making them to believe you have to force your head into something to make something happen.”
  • “I am there to help you with your responses. In the gym, I’m going to create your reactions, I’m going to create your patterns, your basic fundamental patterns that are going to help you win positions, and slightly win rounds where you’re controlling the fight. The other piece is how I’m slowly creating momentum to get finishes.”
  • “If you cannot control your thought, you cannot control your breathing”
  • “Long-distance runners have that mindset where they can just go. It doesn’t matter…if you grapple for an hour, you’ve got to be able to stay consistent, you think better, you become smarter…you have to pace yourself.”


  • “Whether there’s a crowd or no crowd in the future, I think it’s going to benefit me so much because I was able to understand that the crowd does influence my emotions and my only rule is never allow someone or something to affect or control your emotions.”
  • “I’m constantly changing rhythms and if you’re constantly changing rhythms they can’t find a pattern. And if they can’t find a pattern you can constantly catch them in between them trying to find it.”


  • “Once you have fuck-you money, you tend to say fuck you more often and then you get more fuck-you money because you be yourself.”


  • Justin Gaethje won 5 fights as an Amateur without knowing how to strike
  • He wanted to be the most exciting fighter before loses to Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier
  • His purpose changed to becoming a World Champion after which he became more calculated in his strikes
  • He was paid half for his two losses and that hurt him


  • Trevor Wittmann trains each one of his fighters differently
  • He ideally wants 8 to 12 weeks for his fighters to get ready for a fight
  • He asks the purpose of his fighters and is there to help them achieve their purpose
  • He pushes his fighters on week 3 and week 2 before the fight after which he eases them
  • He says that 70% of the injuries to MMA fighters happen during training
  • He is working on bringing specialized MMA equipment for fighters for safer training


  • Justin Gaethje wants to keep his fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov in the middle of the octagon
  • He feels that Khabib takes down opponents near the cage and that is his advantage
  • He feels that his defensive wrestling style can stop Khabib’s takedown attempts
  • He wants to chop Khabib’s legs in clinches so that it becomes a problem for him


  • Justin Gaethje wants to shut Conor McGregor up for his rants
  • He wants to walk away from the sport after beating Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor, and Dustin Poirier


  • Vinnie Lopez
  • Demetrious Johnson
  • Matt Hume
  • Georges St-Pierre
  • Firas Zahabi
  • Luke Caudillo
  • Neil Magny
  • Austin Hubbard
  • Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone
  • Michael Johnson
  • Eddie Alvarez
  • Dustin Poirier
  • Jordan Burroughs
  • James Vick
  • Tony Ferguson
  • Edson Barboza
  • Duane Ludwig
  • James McSweeney
  • Kenny Florian
  • Randy Johnson
  • Dana White
  • Aleksandr Karelin
  • Royler Gracie
  • Eddie Bravo
  • Floyd Mayweather
  • Alex Pereira
  • Israel Adesanya
  • Chris Leben
  • Anderson Silva
  • Shane Carwin
  • Wanderlei Silva
  • Gabriel Gonzaga
  • Frank Mir
  • Brock Lesnar
  • Junior Dos Santos
  • Dominick Cruz
  • Henry Cejudo
  • Herb Dean
  • Rose Namajunas
  • Carla Esparza
  • Nate Marquardt
  • Vitor Belfort
  • Luke Rockhold
  • Michael Bisping
  • Dan Henderson
  • Chris Weidman
  • Ron Waterman
  • Roy Nelson
  • Mike Tyson
  • Rashad Evans
  • Ronda Rousey
  • Sara Mcmann
  • Josh Copeland
  • Max Holloway
  • Alexander Volkanovski
  • Pablo Picasso
  • TJ Dillashaw
  • Cory Sandhagen
  • Muhammad Ali
  • Nate Diaz
  • Zach Bitter
  • Jacare Souza
  • Stephen A. Smith
  • Khabib Nurmagomedov
  • Marlon Moraes
  • Eric Albarracin
  • Chuck Liddell
  • Tyron Woodley
  • Gilbert Burns
  • Demian Maia
  • Bruce Buffer
  • Conor McGregor
  • Daniel Cormier
  • Kamaru Usman


  • Contact (1997)
  • Here Comes the Boom (2012)
  • Warrior (2011)

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