“I Really Felt That Power”- Justin Gaethje Explains Why Khabib Nurmagomedov Fight Hurts the Most

Published 09/19/2021, 11:40 AM EDT
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 25: In this handout image provided by UFC, (R-L) Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia takes down Justin Gaethje in their lightweight title bout during the UFC 254 event on October 25, 2020 on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Justin Gaethje has managed to become the UFC interim lightweight champion once already when he defeated Tony Ferguson at UFC 249. However, he is yet to get his hands on the undisputed gold. Obviously, he had his chance in 2020 when he faced Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 254.

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But Nurmagomedov proved to be too much even for ‘The Highlight’. The undefeated Dagestani took Gaethje’s best shots and still moved forward. He secured a take-down at the end of the first round, but a dominant second round saw Nurmagomedov choke Gaethje unconscious to retain his belt and move to 29-0. ‘The Eagle’ retired after that fight.

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Gaethje recently opened up on that loss. He revealed he believes Nurmagomedov would have been too much for him that night no matter how well he fought. He also revealed that he felt a special power from the Russian who was entering the Octagon for the first time since the death of his father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.

This was a different experience than I had ever experienced. Losing to Dustin and Eddie was different than this one, this one hurt,” said Gaethje at the UFC unfiltered. Dustin Poirier, Eddie Alvarez, and Khabib Nurmagomedov are the only three fighters to defeat Gaethje in his career.

I gave everything that night, he is great and then what he was fighting with, with the death of his father, I really felt that power in there that, no matter what I did or how great I was, next to the one in a million shut their lights out shot, which doesn’t happen often, it was going to be hard for me to win,” he added.

Justin Gaethje returns to action at UFC 268

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The Highlight‘ hasn’t fought in the UFC since his loss to Nurmagomedov. He is finally set to make his return to the Octagon as he takes on Michael Chandler at UFC 268 in November. Both lightweights are currently ranked in the top 5 and will engage in an intriguing clash at Madison Square Garden.

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Fans expect the fight to be an all-time classic as both fighters thrive in violence. Whether carnage eventually ensues when the Octagon door closes in November remains to be seen.

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Apratim Banerjee

1260 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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