Lightweight contender Gregor Gillespie experienced the first loss of his professional MMA career at UFC 244, succumbing to a first-round head-kick courtesy of Kevin Lee.
Speaking to MMA Fighting, Gillespie opened up on this first pro setback. Apparently, he’s in good spirits in spite of it.
“You know how it goes. You get knocked out, I had a headache for a day or two, but I’m good now,” Gillespie said. “I’m in good spirits, you know my ego was hurt a little bit, obviously, someone who never loses and then they lose and you’ve gotta imagine that there’s gonna be some emotions about that, which there were. But my spirit is intact.”
Gillespie has never been one for calling out opponents, but deviated from that pattern when he called for a fight with Lee. He says he does not regret calling out his rival, even considering how the fight ended.
“I asked for a step up in competition. Kevin Lee is a really good opponent,” Gillespie said. “A lot of people were saying, ‘He’s on a losing streak.’ Kevin Lee is not on a downward spiral and I knew that going in. Not for one second did I think I’m picking a guy going down, he’s not. You look at his last four or five fights, they’re all guys who have fought for a title or have a belt, he’s super f*cking good.
“I know that when you ask for better fights like that, your risk of losing goes up. That’s kind of how that goes. So that’s something I was definitely very, very aware of. That’s the risk when you’re fighting anyone, especially in the UFC, but when you take a fight against a guy who fought for a title at one point, your risk of getting beat—not just beat, but knocked out—goes up. That’s a risk I was willing to take.”
Gregor Gillespie received a 90-day medical suspension for his loss to Kevin Lee, but is already plotting a comeback. He doesn’t plan on rushing, but also doesn’t expect a prolonged absence.
“I’d like to get in there, I’d like to get back in, but we’re not gonna rush it,” Gillespie said. “I’m not gonna wait as long as I did this time. I didn’t purposely wait [10 months], it’s just that the opportunity to fight a guy I wanted to fight wasn’t there, then this came along and it was the right opponent, so that’s why the time took so long. It’s going to be sooner than it was this time.”
How do you think Gregor Gillespie will respond to his first pro loss?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/6/2019.