Gaethje walked in as the underdog at UFC 249. Having less time to train, and also going up against one of the best lightweights in the division, made many people question his chances of winning. However, he executed a perfect gameplan to disrupt Ferguson’s non-stop offense.
A brutal war
Midway through the fight, the damage on Ferguson’s face was quite visible. His face had swollen up with some nasty cuts next to his eyes. Although both men were landing, Gaethje’s punches found its mark more than Ferguson’s did.
According to UFC Stats, Gaethje landed 143 significant strikes with 72% accuracy. Ferguson, on the other hand, didn’t lag in terms of numbers but he missed often. He landed 136 significant strikes at 45% accuracy.
The bout ended in the fifth round when Gaethje stunned Ferguson and referee Herb Dean stepped in to save a wobbly ‘Boogeyman’. Even though Ferguson protested the stoppage, there was absolutely no doubt that Gaethje had it in the bag. Check out the scorecards below.
Justin Gaethje claims that he was born to fight
“I haven’t had the time to soak it in, I can’t wait to watch the fight, It was so good tonight. I truly just believed in my skills and in my coaches and what a great time I just had. It was a great challenge and I’m very happy right now, I can’t wait to go home and see my family.
“I know how much happiness I brought to people and that feels great.” Gaethje told the media post-fight.
“I don’t have any expectations when I step in there, just be my best self and I was good tonight. My timing is incredible, my coaches were incredible and I was incredible tonight. This is what I was born, raised, bred to do. You get one life and I’m living a crazy one and it’s so awesome!”
Winning the interim lightweight title sets up Gaethje for a unification bout with the lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov. Based on Khabib’s recent statements, it seems like the champion will return in July of this year, and Gaethje can’t wait.
“I can’t wait for that challenge, win or lose, I am going to give it 100% and one hell of a time.”
Continue the conversation on the app, join other MMA fans on MMA Fans App
MMA & Boxing Writer at EssentiallySports