Justin Gaethje was in another relentless war last night, only this one was shorter than usual. He ended Barboza exactly halfway through the first round, clipping him with a huge overhand as Barboza circled out. The Brazilian went down like a falling tree, and the referee dove on top of him in time to save him from Gaethje’s diving follow-up punch.
Most of the world went crazy- except for Daniel Cormier, who was looking down and missed it- but one person, exactly one, out of everyone watching, had exactly zero reaction to the knockout. That person was Gaethje’s coach, Trevor Wittman.
Wittman is the yin to Gaethje’s yang, always calm, cool and relaxed. Recently, his sage opinions have been broadcast to millions via his new role in summarizing UFC corner advice between rounds for ESPN’s audience. Wittman has been around as a top coach for a long time, however, having coached Nate Marquardt and Brendan Schaub earlier in their careers, and working with names like Georges St. Pierre and Duane Ludwig. These days, he coaches a select few, including Gaethje and strawweight champion Rose Namajunas.
This is a tradition with Wittman. He didn’t celebrate after Gaethje’s knockout of Michael Vick either.
Gaethje himself explained the deeply philosophical reasoning behind the non-reaction after the Vick knockout: “@TrevorWittman is the best coach in the world. He knows with ones victory comes another’s demise. He will celebrate with me when he makes sure my opponent is ok, that is what you see here.”