GLENDALE, Ariz. – UFC lightweight Justin Gaethje could just as well have come from a day on the beach as taken a knockout loss, the way he spoke after a “Fight of the Year” candidate against Dustin Poirier.
“What’s up guys? Why all the sad faces?” Gaethje told reporters backstage at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Ariz., which hosted the UFC on FOX 29 headliner.
Despite falling short to Poirier (23-5 MMA, 15-4 UFC) in front of a hometown crowd, Gaethje (18-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) quickly shrugged off his loss and chalked it up to another day at work.
“I didn’t get into this sport to win or lose,” he said. “It’s an entertainment factor for me. I will be known and remembered as one of the most entertaining fighters that ever did it. I’m content with what just happened, as stupid and crazy as that sounds.”
Those two adjectives are what make every Gaethje fight a must-watch event, and what left Poirier limping after three-plus rounds of grueling action. Gaethje hoped to bounce back from a previous knockout loss to ex-champ Eddie Alvarez, his first professional loss. But the fact that he didn’t didn’t seem to bother him.
“You guys, this is an unforgiving sport,” Gaethje said after a long sigh. “I don’t recommend it to my enemy. But it’s what I was born and bred to do.”
Gaethje credited Poirier for pulling through rough patches earlier in the fight. Although he took a subtle swipe at the breaks Poirier got for a pair of accidental eyepokes, one of which cost him a point on judges scorecards, he didn’t cry foul.
“I have nothing but respect for him,” Gaethje said. “He’s going to be hurting for a very long time.”
The former WSOF champ’s timeline is a lot shorter, career-wise. After so many wars, Gaethje doesn’t expect to be showing up to many more press conferences, looking at faces made dour or bright by his work. He won’t hang around any longer than what he’s planned already.
“I’ve got five fights,” he told MMAjunkie.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: UFC on FOX 29's Justin Gaethje: No regrets, and five fights left