UFC lightweight standouts Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje finally faced each other at UFC 218 early this month. Alvarez won the Fight of the Night bout via third-round knockout and proclaimed himself to the “Most Violent Fighter” in the UFC.
From his end, Gaethje is not bothered by the first loss on his professional record. In fact, he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I’m glad I got knocked out instead of going to a decision and losing because that’s not the way I want to lose,” Gaethje said in an interview on MMA Tonight on SiriusXM Rush (transcript via MMA Fighting). “I’m happy with my performance. I feel like I won because I tried so hard. My preparation was there and ultimately I went out and did what I go to do and that entertains people and entertain myself really. And I had fun.”
Gaethje has been known as an all-action, come-forward fighter, and it is an approach that has brought him success in his career. But even if this style earned him his first defeat in the UFC, the former WSOF lightweight champion is not willing to make any major changes.
“At the end of the day, it’s an unforgiving sport. All of a sudden I could get knocked out three times, so you just never know with this sport,” Gaethje said. “I’m definitely not gonna change anything. There’s not a lot of people that can sit there and take the punishment that I can deliver.”
“I need to be in better shape. I was definitely trying to avoid grappling exchanges because I didn’t want to get tired . . . but those are things that can be fixed.”
After UFC 218, Gaethje dropped to a record of 17-1 (15 wins by stoppage).
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