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“I Had Him in Trouble” – Justin Gaethje Looks Back At His Loss Against Khabib Nurmagomedov

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Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje at UFC 254

Justin Gaethje did everything right, however, only for the first few minutes of the fight after which Khabib Nurmagoemdov just derailed Gaethje’s game plan and picked up a dominant win once again to cement his legacy as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.

“You know it sucks. I am hurt, it’s emotional, but ultimately it’s the name of the game man. I had him in trouble, I wasn’t very many kicks away for him to be…he’s gonna limp, he’s gonna be limping for at least the next three weeks.” Gaethje said. “That’s nothing to be proud of because I lost, but I felt alive. I felt great.” He added.

The former interim champion spoke about his loss. Gaethje looked humble in victory and stated that he felt alive inside the Octagon for as long as the fight lasted, and that’s enough for him. Additionally, Gaethje added that he had Khabib in a trouble and claimed that Khabib would be limping for the new few weeks.

Justin Gaethje admits he needs to improve a lot on the ground

Gaethje came into the first round looking balanced and with a solid game-plan in the company of Trevor Wittman. Gaethje had previously credited his clinical performance against Tony Ferguson back at UFC 249 to Trevor Wittman, whose advise in this fight did not work against the undisputed and undefeated Khabiib Nurmagomedov, who picked up an easy win over Justin Gaethje in his third title defemse. Soon after the win, Nurmagomedov announced his retirement from the sport and showed no interest in fighting Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier in a rematch.

“If I was gonna lose, I am not scared to get choked out. Getting knocked out sucks. There is consequences, health-wise to that. Getting choked out, you get a nice little dream and then it’s onto the next one.” Gaethje said.

Justin Gaethje looked incredible on the feet and there were moments where it looked like Khabib was getting reckless against someone as powerful a striker like Gaethje. However, Khabib was able to capitalise on that pressure and took him down in the closing moments of the first round. The Eagle did the same in the second as went for a single leg takedown and quickly transitioned into top-mount to execute triangle choke to grab the victory.

“I have to be better on the bottom. I love fighting so much, I love striking so much. But to be the best in the world, you have to be great everywhere. You know, he’s better than me in grappling right now and I have to go back and that’s where my focus needs to be right now.” 

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