Conor McGregor in awe of stunning Justin Gaethje knockout
"I'm going to keep going until the wheels come off."
Justin Gaethje was the World Series of Fighting champion and had a record of 17-0 in his pro career when he arrived at the UFC. Veteran fighter Michael Johnson warned him the major leagues were a different beast but Gaethje dismantled him after two slobber knocker rounds.
Then the fight game took a massive bite, or two. Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier handed him his first professional defeats and Gaethje was suddenly contemplating his future in the game.
He got back on track by knocking out James Vick in Nebraska, last August, and returned to The Octagon to take on highly rated lightweight Edson Barboza.
Barboza has career wins over Anthony Pettis, Paul Felder and Gilbert Melendez but he could not live with Gaethje in Philadelphia. 'The Highlight' received a clatter of leg kicks in the first round but kept marching forward and swinging with ferocity.
Just over the two-minute mark of the opening stanza and Gaethje ended the contest with a crunching KO punch.
— ???? ??????™.?|?????? ♡ (@MysticPabbz) March 31, 2019
That devastating finale was the 17th KO or TKO finish in Gaethje's career and it won him the acclaim of a packed Wells Fargo arena.
Among those in awe of Gaethje's propensity to knock men clean out were Conor McGregor, fellow lightweight Michael Chiesa and Women's 'Champ Champ' Amanda Nunes.
That was well done all the way through.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) March 31, 2019
— Michael Chiesa (@MikeMav22) March 31, 2019
— Amanda Nunes (@Amanda_Leoa) March 31, 2019
Following his 20th career win, Gaethje spoke with Jon Anik and complained that Donald Cerrone had somehow leapfrogged him to a fight against Al Iaquinta off the back of one win over a fighter ranked 15th in the 155 lbs division.
"You guys are crapping on every bit of... this is ridiculous," he declared.
"But onto the next one. There's five or six guys ahead of me and I want every one of them... I would not recommend this sport to my enemy but I was born and I was bred and I was raised to do this."