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UFC Vegas 22’s Gregor Gillespie says losing to Kevin Lee by knockout made loss easier to accept

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Gregor Gillespie suffered the first and only loss of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career at the hands of Kevin Lee via first round knockout at UFC 244 back in Nov. 2019 (see it again here). But “The Gift” isn’t exactly dwelling on it.

Sure, he was bummed that he lost his undefeated mark (as anyone would be), but he didn’t roll up into a ball and cry about it. In fact, it only took a couple of weeks for him to get over the crushing defeat. And it all had to do with the manner in which he lost.

“It’s been behind me — a few weeks following that loss it was behind me,” Gillespie said during a UFC Vegas 22 pre-fight media scrum ahead of his fight this weekend (Sat., March 20, 2021) against Brad Riddell at UFC Vegas 22.

For Gillespie, losing via knockout simply made it easier to get through as opposed to losing a bad decision or being dominated for 15 minutes.

“And I want to say this, too, the way I lost was easier to accept for me,” Gillespie said. “And people may be like, what is he talking about? But that was easier for me to accept than getting beat up for three rounds, or getting taken down and held down. Or, you know, like if I had been drug through the mud and then lost a bad decision that would have hurt me way more.

“I got hit by a really nice punch followed by a really clean kick,” he continued, giving Lee his due credit for perfect execution. “And props to Kevin Lee on that, it was a beautiful combo. And I don’t know if you could do it better than that. It wasn't lucky, it wasn’t ‘I got caught,’ it was perfectly executed and the credit is to him on that. It wasn’t like, ‘Man I had an off night.’ No, it was really solid on his end.”

Gillespie was undefeated (13-0, 6-0 UFC) up until he ran into “The Motown Phenom” in New York City. The No. 15-ranked fighter hasn’t competed since then, but will finally make his return to action after a 16-month layoff in Las Vegas, Nevada.

While Riddell may not have the biggest name at the moment, he is more than capable of handing “The Gift” his second straight loss. Currently riding a six-fight win streak, Riddell has won nine of his first 10 professional MMA bouts, including a perfect run (3-0) inside the Octagon.

To see the full UFC Vegas 22 fight card click here.