Going into this past Saturday night’s UFC Lincoln card, James Vick was one of the hottest lightweight contenders in the UFC at 9-1, and a win over a highly-regarded, seasoned veteran and former WSOF champion in Justin Gaethje would have no doubt elevated him one step closer to a future title opportunity.
Unfortunately, that never came to be as Saturday marked “The Texacutioner” ‘s second brush with defeat in the UFC as Gaethje way-laid Vick with a powerful overhand right in the first round for the victory.
In the early going, Vick got off to a good start, using his size and length against Gaethje, landing kicks and utilizing his jab to keep the former champ on the outside of his range.
But in one fatal move, Vick began to back up into the corner of the octagon which allowed Gaethje to close distance, before landing the fight-ending strike.
For Gaethje, this was a statement win, rebounding from two tough back-to-back losses against top notch competition.
For Vick, his second loss in the UFC in over three years, ironically by KO, which was the same fashion he suffered his first loss in 2016.
Devastated and disappointed, Vick took to his Instagram yesterday express his thoughts on Saturday night’s heartbreaking experience, labeling it the “worst night of my life” and gave a respectful, classy compliment to his opponent.
Also in the post, Vick had apologized for the hard criticisms he gave Gaethje leading into the bout, in what he viewed as his reckless style of fighting.
“I said what I said to get and promote the fight,” Vick wrote of his first UFC main event opportunity. “You are a class act and I do appreciate the kind words last night. I have no excuses. I was in shape, healthy, and confident. I blew it.
“For all those that believed in me and support me I am truly sorry. I will go back and keep training and loving this life of being a fighter and a martial artist. This is the life I have chosen and I guess this comes with the territory.”