Justin Gaethje Speaks On UFC 254 Loss To Khabib Nurmagomedov
Justin Gaethje has spoken out on his defeat at the hands of Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Gaethje and Nurmagomedov collided for the undisputed UFC Lightweight Championship. The two clashed in the main event of UFC 254. The action was held inside the Flash Forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. While Gaethje found some success with the leg kicks, he wasn’t able to do much more as the pressure of “The Eagle” threw him off. Nurmagomedov nabbed the second-round submission victory via triangle choke.
Gaethje spoke to Megan Olivi after the fight. The former interim UFC Lightweight Champion said it’s probably better that he was choked out rather than being on the receiving end of some hard punches (h/t MMAFighting.com).
“Being choked out is a nice little dream, and then it’s on to the next one. I took probably two or three shots, big shots to the head. When you get choked out, I’m not a doctor, but I believe there’s not any serious consequences to that, and I love it. And there’s a belt on the line now.”
He went on to say that he feels he had Nurmagomedov where he wanted him before being submitted in the second stanza.
“I had him in trouble. I wasn’t very many kicks away from him not being able to walk. He’s going to be limping for at least three weeks. It’s nothing to be proud of, because I lost. But I felt alive and I felt great.”
Many believe Gaethje will remain in title contention at 155 pounds given his exciting fighting style and the fact that he was on a four-fight winning streak before losing to Khabib. Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier II is expected to take place on January 23 but that isn’t official. There’s also Michael Chandler, who was a backup for the UFC 254 main event.