The James Vick hype train came to a screeching halt at UFC Fight Night 135, where ‘The Texecutioner’ was brutally knocked out in the opening round by former World Series of Fighting lightweight champion Justin Gaethje at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Vick, who was riding a four-fight win streak heading into UFC Fight Night 135, hyped himself up and said a lot of disrespectful things to Gaethje in the lead-up to last night’s main event. But, after his sobering knockout loss, the 31-year-old was all class in defeat and made no excuses for his performance.
Vick released a statement on Instagram earlier today and said that UFC Lincoln was the worst night of his life.
”Worst night of my life last night,” Vick posted. “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.
”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 chose and I guess this comes with the territory. Thanks to all my friends, family and teammates for the support and thank you UFC for the opportunity.”
Vick had suffered a similar first-round knockout loss to Beneil Dariush back in 2016, but the Texan came back stronger and won four straight fights against Abel Trujillo, Polo Reyes, Joseph Duffy, and Francisco Trinaldo. And, judging from his statement on Instagram, the top ten lightweight has the right attitude and is humble enough in defeat to admit his flaws and make the necessary adjustments to improve his game.
With the loss, however, Vick has a long road back to nearing title contention and will likely be removed from the top ten after the UFC updates its rankings.