Nobody is as genuine as Justin Gaethje when it comes to self-evaluation inside the sport of MMA. Ask Justin, and he’ll tell you his opinions, tremors, and uncut commentary. With a kill or be killed attitude, there’s a reason why Gaethje is a fan favorite. When it comes to Gaethje and his matchup against Khabib, he is making no excuses for his loss. In fact, although he believes Khabib was in a bad spot, he respects the fight that they put on, even in a loss.
On official scorecards, Gaethje won the first round of the fight according to two out of three judges. Both men pushed the pace and respected each other. Gaethje was able to land hard leg kicks and stay alert during the fight. However, Khabib was able to walk through power shots, eventually grab Justin, and submit him in the second round.
Gaethje Speaks on Performance Against Khabib
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) October 24, 2020
“It sucks, I’m hurt. It’s emotional. Ultimately, it’s the name of the game, man. I had him in trouble,” said Gaethje.
I wasn’t very many kicks away from him not being able to walk. He’s going to limp … limping for at least the next three weeks. That’s nothing to be proud of because I lost, but, I felt alive … I felt great. I believe I did a great job of causing damage. Keeping the distance, controlling the distance, threatening, and causing damage. I caused damage in there.
“I know he was in a bad spot,” he later added. “Even if he wasn’t, he did what he had to do. Took me down. He is very strong. I know he made his father so proud.”
Moving the Division
Now that the UFC lightweight title is vacant, it would be tough not to consider Gaethje to fight for the belt. All he’ll need is a partner to share the octagon with. The UFC has many different directions they could turn. Tony Ferguson, Michael Chandler, and Dustin Poirier are all waiting for a shot at the belt.
With Khabib officially retired, the division is now wide open.