73°F
weather icon Drizzle

James Vick’s insults helped fuel Justin Gaethje’s UFC win

UFC lightweight contender Justin Gaethje heard everything James Vick said about him during the buildup to their UFC Fight Night 135 main event bout in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Saturday.

He made him pay the price shortly after the bell rang.

Gaethje snapped a two-fight losing streak by knocking Vick cold just 1:27 into the headlining bout.

“I’m the least fake person in this sport,” Gaethje said. “I take everything personal. I took everything he said personal. I’m glad I put him to sleep.

“This game is unforgiving, man. That could easily be me right now. It’s what we do.”

Vick had called Gaethje a “punch-drunk retard” and “the Homer Simpson of MMA” among other insulting terms, mostly relating to his overly aggressive style.

He did take the time to apologize after suffering just the second loss of his career.

“Worst night of my life last night,” Vick wrote on social media. “Thank you Justin Gaethje for the opportunity. Though confident in myself, I did always respect you. I said what I said to get and promote the fight. You are a class act and I do appreciate your kind words last night. I have no excuses. I was in shape, healthy and confident. I blew it.”

Gaethje is happy to be back on track. He burst on the scene as an undefeated former World Series of Fighting champion by scoring a knockout win over Michael Johnson in his UFC debut last July before suffering the first two losses of his career. All four fights have been highly entertaining, making Gaethje an instant fan favorite. He’s ready to take a step back from the wild ride before pursuing some bigger paychecks.

“(This win) should get me a business meeting with the UFC, that’s what it should give me,” he said. “I want to fight the best. I’m happy with the UFC, I’m not unhappy with them. But the way I put it on the line, I need all my money up front. And that’s how it should work for people like me. They should use me as an example. If you want all your money, you fight like Justin Gaethje.

“I’ve done four fights in the last 13 months, that means I’ve been in camp, I’ve been out of camp maybe a month, and that was when I was filming ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ so I wasn’t out of camp. I’ve been training for the last 13 months, and I would like a break. But not a long break.”

McGregor reflects on megafight

Sunday marked the one-year anniversary of UFC star Conor McGregor’s historic boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The former two-division UFC champion spent the day preparing for his return to the cage for an Oct. 6 lightweight title bout against champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at T-Mobile Arena.

McGregor didn’t let his training regimen get in the way of marking the occasion.

“One year ago today I adhered to a load of rules, for a load of riches,” McGregor posted on social media along with a photo from his sparring session. “Not today though. Today was no rules. Just a fight. A Proper one. For nothing more than peace, and peace of mind.”

It will be McGregor’s first mixed martial arts bout since November 2016.

Lightweight showdown added to UFC 229

Former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis will fight former interim champ Tony Ferguson on the UFC 229 card.

The winner will have an obvious case to be next in line to fight either McGregor or Nurmagomedov.

It also gives UFC officials a great deal of flexibility should either McGregor or Nurmagomedov be unable to compete on Oct. 6.

Ferguson was supposed to fight Nurmagomedov on several occasions, most recently at UFC 223 in April. Both fighters have had to pull out of the bout for various reasons over the last few years. This time it was Ferguson, who suffered a knee injury.

“I Can’t Wait To Compete For My Fans,” he wrote on Twitter in his typical style of starting every word with a capital letter in announcing the fight. “This Year Has Been One Of The Most Challenging For My Family & I. The Injuries & Defamation I Faced From Certain Demographics Didn’t (Affect) My Business One Bit.”

UFC 229 also features a heavyweight bout between Derrick Lewis and Alexander Volkov.

Film series to debut Sept. 14-The UFC announced a 25-part documentary series to celebrate the organization’s 25th anniversary.

The episodes, which debut on Sept. 14 with “Country Boy Can Survive: The Story of Matt Hughes’ Fight for Survival,” will stream on UFC Fight Pass.

New episodes will premiere every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at noon.

More MMA: Follow all of our MMA and UFC coverage online at CoveringTheCage.com and @CoveringTheCage on Twitter.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-277-8028. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Covering The Cage Videos
Greg Hardy, former NFL star, on MMA knockout
The former NFL star needed just 17 seconds to score a knockout on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series (Adam Hill/Review-Journal)
Marlon Moraes says Henry Cejudo will regret stepping up to bantamweight - VIDEO
UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo is coming up to the bantamweight division to battle Marlon Moraes for the vacant belt on June 8 at UFC 238. Moraes said Cejudo will regret going after a second title in a new division and added that he thinks his path will cross with former champion TJ Dillashaw in the future.
Paige VanZant details her arm injury, when she can return - VIDEO
UFC strawweight Paige VanZant was briefly linked to fight at UFC 236, but had to withdraw from the bout due to a broken arm. As a guest on the RJ Ringside Podcast, she detailed the injury and also spoke about joining the M-1 Global booth as a color commentator.
UFC 236 Press Conference Highlights
UFC 236 will feature a pair of interim title fights. In the main event, UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway will face lightweight contender Dustin Poirier and middleweights Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum will collide in the co-main event. UFC 236 will take place in Atlanta, Ga., on Apr. 13.
Jon Jones retains light heavyweight belt at UFC 235 - VIDEO
Jon Jones retained the UFC light heavyweight belt when he earned a decision over Anthony Smith in the main event of UFC 235.
Kamaru Usman crowned new champ at UFC 235 — VIDEO
Kamaru Usman became the first African-born fighter to claim a UFC belt when he defeated Tyron Woodley to become the promotion's new welterweight champion.
UFC 235 Official Weigh-in Results - VIDEO
All 24 fighters competing at UFC 235 at the T-Mobile Arena on March 2 stepped on the scale prior for the official fight card weigh-ins. All four fighters competing in the title bouts slated for the event made weight.
UFC's Jones says he has no shame after recent drug test results are released - VIDEO
Though recent drug test results still show trace amounts of Turinabol in his system, UFC light heayvweight champion Jon Jones says he has no shame and is hiding nothing as he prepares for his UFC 235 title bout against Anthony Smith.
Anthony Smith stays level-headed prior to UFC 235 title fight - VIDEO
Despite UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones being in the spotlight for drug test discrepancies and other outside the cage struggles, Anthony Smith says he is tuning out the noise and remaining focused on the challenge of beating the reigning champion in the cage.
UFC 235 Media Day Highlights
Highlights and staredowns from the top three fights on the UFC 235 fight card taking place at the T-Mobile Arena on March 2.
THE LATEST
Dustin Poirier beats up Max Holloway at UFC 236

Dustin Poirier bloodied Max Holloway and won a unanimous decision for the UFC interim lightweight title on Saturday night, denying Holloway his chance to become only the fourth fighter to hold two belts at the same time.

Poirier bloodies Holloway, wins UFC interim lightweight belt

Dustin Poirier bloodied Max Holloway and won a unanimous decision for the UFC interim lightweight title on Saturday night, denying Holloway his chance to become only the fourth fighter to hold two belts at the same time.