After a long hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the UFC made its return with three events in eight days in Jacksonville, Florida. UFC 249, UFC on ESPN+ 29 and UFC on ESPN 8 each featured a host of eye-catching performances, but which fighter stood out as the star performer over the course of the eight days? That’s the question we put to MMA Junkie’s Simon Head, Farah Hannoun and Dave Doyle as they sound off in the latest edition of Triple Take. **** Simon Head: Justin Gaethje reaching the pinnacle Fans loved watching Justin Gaethje long before he got his hands on UFC gold, but his performance to win the UFC interim lightweight title at UFC 249 showed that he had evolved his game to go that extra yard and push him to within touching distance of a fight with champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Gaethje’s fan-friendly fighting style had already won him a legion of supporters, but it also put him in harm’s way more often than perhaps was sensible, and his back-to-back losses to Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez – both in the later rounds – showed that there was still some refinement needed if “The Highlight” was to go all the way to the top

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