The loss no doubt halts his rise up the lightweight ranks, but he is taking the loss well.
“You know how it goes. You get knocked out, I had a headache for a day or two. But, I’m good now,” Gillespie told MMA Fighting. “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.”
For Gillespie, he says he has no regrets over how the fight went, or demanding a step up in competition.
“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.”
In the end, Gillespie doesn’t care if Lee weighed more than him or what. Instead, he says it was just a perfect head kick that put his lights out.
“And again, the size had nothing to do with that. He landed a perfectly executed, perfectly timed, unbelievable kick,” he said. “People have been saying it was lucky, it was not lucky. It was not unlucky. It was an absolutely perfect kick and it was very well-executed and I give him all the props in the world.”