Justin Gaethje may have gotten submitted in the second round of his fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov. However he can at least claim some level of victory after becoming the second man to take a round from the lightweight champ.
Heading into UFC 254, there was a legitimate narrative that Gaethje could be the one to hand Khabib his first professional loss. Between the wrestling pedigree and stylistic matchup of both men, and the outside factors that had the potential of messing with Khabib, some even favored Justin to win the match. Ultimately in the end, the NCAA Division 1 All-American would fall to the undefeated Dagestani, getting choked unconscious in the second round.
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Justin Gaethje Wins Rounds Against Khabib
As disappointing as the end result must have been for Justin Gaethje, there are some positive takeaways even in defeat. The first round saw him defend all of Khabib’s takedowns except for one at the end of the round. Apparently this effort from Justin was enough to win the first round on two of the three judge’s scorecards, according to reports.
#UFC254 Official Scorecard: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje
— UFC News (@UFCNews) October 24, 2020
Although this does not seem significant on its face, it is important to remember that in all 29 of Khabib’s pro fights, only one other man has scored a round over the apparent former lightweight champ. So Gaethje joins the ranks of Conor McGregor on the short list of fighters to beat the Dagestani, at least in a five minute frame. On the other hand, it is worth noting that most people did not actually agree that the round should have gone the way two of the judges saw it.
Regardless of whether or not you think it was the right decision, it is still an impressive feat for Justin Gaethje to win a round against Khabib Nurmagomedov. It is even more impressive that this is not something that most people can do.