At UFC 244, it was supposed to be Gregor Gillespie’s big coming-out party. The undefeated wrestling standout was taking on the most notable name of his career in Kevin Lee, who was on a two-fight losing streak.
Many expected Gillespie to simply dominate Lee from the get-go, but that did not happen. It was a close bout, then Lee landed a huge head kick that knocked Gillespie out cold to hand him his first loss. Even though he lost, he still wants another top-10 opponent next.
“I want another top-10 guy, I’ll say that,” Gillespie said on the “Anik and Florian” podcast (via MMA Junkie). “Obviously I don’t think that loss is an indication that I don’t belong in the top 10. I think it’s one of those things that happens. I want to absolutely state this. I’m not saying I got caught or Kevin Lee got lucky. There’s absolutely nothing lucky about what he did. I will give him all the credit in the world. It was a perfectly placed, a perfectly timed, perfectly executed kick, and that’s what every fighter hopes they can do in a fight.”
Gillespie says he was having success in the fight and feels he was winning until he got caught. All he says is he wishes he would have wrestled more.
“We were talking to my coaches, and we were talking to my teammates, would I have probably wrestled, maybe I would have forced a little more wrestling action in the beginning. But it was really tough,” Gillespie said. “First of all, Kevin Lee is a super good grappler, wrestler, whatever you want to call it. So that’s not a foreign area for him and also his stance was so low. He was obviously waiting for the takedown. He’s been coached really well, as far as that was concerned, and it wasn’t the right time. If there’s someone who knows the right time to shoot, it’s me.”
“In my opinion I was winning the exchanges,” Gillespie added. “I think I did some damage in the striking. It was obviously fairly even, but I felt I was winning slightly, but would if I would have taken a shot at that point when he was low. I would have ate a knee and got knocked out that way, and then everyone would have said you were winning the exchanges, your striking looked good, why did you go for this shot, he was waiting for it.”