Reflecting on his only three losses in MMA, “The Highlight” believes his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov was different from his other two. On that fateful night last October, the then-32-year-old Nurmagomedov’s dark energy was palpable, and Gaethje could feel it right away. Overwhelmed with sorrow, Nurmagomedov submitted Gaethje with a triangle choke instead of permanently damaging his tendons with an armbar in the first round.
“It was a different experience than I had ever really experienced. Losing to Dustin [Poirier] and Eddie [Alvarez] was different than this one. This one hurt, but I don’t know. I gave everything that night. He is great. And then with what he was fighting with, with the death of his father, I really felt that power in there, and I just don’t think that no matter what I did or how great I was next to the one in a million shut-their-lights-out shot, which doesn’t happen often, then it was gonna be hard for me to win.
“So I’m confident, and I need to be confident that nobody on planet Earth at 155 pounds can, number one, take those shots; and two, walk through those shots and continue to pressure me and take me down and be that effective,” Gaethje said to Matt Serra.
The #2-ranked Gaethje is ready to get the taste of defeat out of his mouth and will get a crack at Chandler in New York City, New York at the UFC 268 PPV on Nov. 6. Initially, some panic set in as Chandler mentioned that he would not be vaccinated by the time the event was at our doorstep. Current legislation in New York now requires proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to participate in most indoor activities.
In what is likely to be one of the most exciting fights of the year, Gaethje and Chandler are eager to ply their trade at the historic Madison Square Garden venue on Nov. 6 at UFC 268: Usman vs. Covington 2. Gaethje will return from a year-long layoff and look to reposition himself for another run at gold.