Justin Gaethje reacts after submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 254

Justin Gaethje
Image: @UFC on Instagram

Justin Gaethje was hoping to hand Khabib Nurmagomedov the first loss of his professional career in the headliner of tonight’s UFC 254 main event on Yas Island.

The lightweight title unification bout was considered by many to be the most highly anticipated fight in UFC history.

Gaethje (22-2 MMA) had enter his showdown with Khabib on a four-fight win streak, with all four of those victories coming by form of stoppage. In his most previous effort at UFC 249, ‘The Highlight‘ defeated Tony Ferguson by way of fifth round TKO to capture the promotions interim lightweight world title.

Meanwhile, Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0 MMA) was returning to action for the first time since losing his father Abdulmanap due to complications from Covid-19. ‘The Eagle’ had most recently competed at UFC 242 in September of 2019, where he scored a submission victory over Dustin Poirier to retain his lightweight crown.

Tonight’s UFC 254 main event proved to be a one side contest. Kahbib Nurmagomedov was able to utilize an unbelievable pace to dominate Justin Gaethje on route to a second round submission win.

Official UFC 254 Result: Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Justin Gaethje via submission in Round 2

Check out how Gaethje reacted to tonight’s loss during his post-fight interview with Jon Anik.

“Man I felt alive. I felt alive. That’s why I step in here man. I ask my coaches if they are ready to feel alive every time I step in here. Again, adrenaline, endorphins released. It is a great feeling man. But the only reason I stuck around in here (the cage) was to give this man (Khabib) praises. I know he was in a bad spot. Even if he wasn’t. He did what he had to do. Took me down. He is very strong. I know he made his father so proud.

Who would you like to see Justin Gaethje fight next following his submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at today’s UFC 254 event on Yas Island? Share your thoughts in the comments section PENN Nation!

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on October 24, 2020