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Justin Gaethje feels that Khabib's mindset about fighting may land him in trouble at UFC 254

UFC interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje
UFC interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje
Dhruv Sharma
Modified 17 Oct 2020, 17:17 IST

We are merely a week away from UFC 254 and arguably the most anticipated fight in recent times. Interim Lightweight champion Justin Gaethje squares off against perhaps the most dominant champion the UFC has ever seen in Khabib Nurmagomedov. Many analysts and fans alike consider Justin Garthje to be the biggest challenge for Khabib yet with the former’s pedigree in wrestling rivaling that of the undefeated UFC Lightweight champion.

While speculation is spreading like wildfire as we approach the fight, the challenger Justin Gaethje discussed his strategy and parts of his game plan with Brian Campbell and Luke Thomas of the Morning Kombat podcast.

Claiming that there is a 'method to his madness’ in the Octagon, Justin Gaethje mentioned that wrestling will be a major factor against Khabib. However, the biggest challenge for him would be staying off the fence, hence disallowing Khabib from doing his best work.

Referring to his bout against Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje mentioned that he was too good on his feet to be in the range for level changes. He further goes on to add that he “creates damage” even if he barely clips his opponents, and while Tony enjoys that style of fighting, Khabib’s major prerogative is to avoid taking any damage in his fights.

Justin Gaethje believes that he will eventually hurt Khabib in their fight and he is excited to see his reaction to the damage especially considering that Khabib’s priority is to “not get hurt”.

It is this differential in their approach to the fight, which Justin believes, will give him the edge. 

Justin Gaethje claims his nickname will be changed from ‘Highlight’ to ‘2020’ after October 24th


When asked about his plans after the Khabib fight, Justin Gaethje promptly stated that he is not looking beyond October 24th. He further goes on to add that he has no problem sustaining permanent damage in his quest for victory and said he would strive to be perfect for 25 minutes against the champion.

Justin Gaethje mentioned that he ‘thrives’ going to the ‘dark place’ where his mind takes him when faced with adversity and that he is better equipped to handle the ‘chemicals’ released by the body in these scenarios.

And while he respects Khabib as a fighter and acknowledges that both of them have been wrestling since their childhoods, he believes that his “folkstyle wrestling” is something Khabib has never experienced before.

On the topic of both fighters being represented by Ali Abdelaziz, Justin Gaethje mentioned that he plans on f**king up Ali’s, Khabib’s, Dana White’s and Daniel Cormier’s day along with anyone else’s who backs Khabib to win the fight.


He also claimed that once he is done with Khabib, his nickname will change from “the highlight” to “2020” perhaps depicting the damage he would cause his opponent.

Whether these predictions would come to fruition or not, remains to be seen. However, we are merely 7 days away from answering the query about who is the greatest Lightweight MMA fighter in the world at the moment. 

Published 17 Oct 2020, 17:17 IST
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