Former WSOF Lightweight Champion Justin Gaethje suffered a third round knockout loss to former UFC Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez at UFC 218.
While many would consider such a brutal loss a bad thing, it is actually the complete opposite thing in the eyes of Gaethje.
“Looking back, it lived up to the hype,” Gaethje said on The MMA Hour. “I told people before that I had the ‘Fight of the Year’ until I fought again, and that’s what I do. It’s what I do every time. I get a bonus every time, and man, I really had a lot of fun in there. That’s first and foremost. It was the time of my life. Honestly, being in front of that many people, being able to put my skills on the line at the highest level on a pay-per-view, all of those things, it was a dream come true for me.”
Gaethje suffered the first loss of his professional MMA career on that night and his record in the UFC now sits at 1-1-0.
Since it was the first loss of the fighter’s MMA career, one thing that Gaethje has to keep doing is reminding himself that he actually suffered a defeat.
“I have to keep reminding myself that I lost,” Gaethje said. “I don’t know. I signed up for this. I said it before, I said it many times, that I was going to lose (eventually). If I lost, I hoped that I would get knocked out. All of those things came true. I love the sport, I’m a fan of MMA, I’ve been a fan of MMA since before I started it, I was a fan of Eddie Alvarez before I started fighting, so just the culmination of events that have transpired in my life through hard work, through specifically hard work, it’s just, I’m happy. I’m happy for myself. I’m happy for my family. I’ve been trying to prepare my mom and sisters for all of that for a long time, so when it did happen, they were like, ‘Well, you’ve kinda prepared us for this.’ So it wasn’t that bad.”
The two fighters were competing for the “most violent fighter title,” which was created by Alvarez in the weeks leading up to their battle.