Justin Gaethje has finally grown as a fighter recently. That all stems from being under the guidance of coach extraordinaire Trevor Wittman. There are not too many coaches that break things down as he does.
The UFC 254 main event to unify the UFC's lightweight title against Khabib Nurmagomedov still has no venue yet. It could be in the smaller Vegas cage, favoring the sambo wrestling of Khabib or the larger one in Abu Dhabi.
And although the former college wrestler has yet in his career to rely on it, he's no slouch going to the mat. As a matter of fact, the wrestling heavy attack of Khabib doesn't even concern Justin Gaethje, at least publicly.
Justin Gaethje planning for war at UFC 254
In speaking with Hall of Famer Michael Bisping on his show "Believe You Me", Justin Gaethje said:
"We're not wrestling anymore. There's gonna be a zone in front of me, it's not very big. It's gonna be a zone of death, and I have to represent death every time he enters this zone. That's what I'm best at, creating carnage. Creating car crashes".
But he knows and expects a heavy push from Nurmagomedov. And he will be fighting with a lot on his mind too. Staying undefeated, retaining the strap, and most importantly remembering his father. One spot Justin Gaethje pointed out that can be looked at as a weakness, that can be exploited, is that Khabib has surrounded himself with a posse that caresses his ego.
'The Highlight' also went on to say:
"At the end of the day, he breathes oxygen. His brain needs to get oxygen. If I can short circuit that oxygen supply for half a second, he'll go to sleep".
If Justin Gaethje rips the body the way he has in his past fights, he'll be right. And Khabib's teammate, Daniel Cormier, has even told the champion that this challenge is by far the toughest he's faced. And to keep Khabib in a semi-normal routine and surrounding, his coach Javier Mendez is flying to Dagestan to train him there, rather than in California.
Mendez also knows just how tough this matchup is. And when asked about another fight, the Tony Ferguson possible battle, he said he'd rather not do it as he's superstitious and is worried what could happen if it's booked again.
Another thing that worked in Nurmagomedov's favor is the UFC has put 3 teammates on the card as well. Islam Makhachev, and cousins Abubakar Nurmagomedov, and Umar Nurmagomedov. Which reunites the Conor McGregor brawl posse.
And none of that concerns the Arizona native either. He knows it'll be his fists that decide when and if he becomes the true champion of an organization for the second time. Along with the fact he needs to fight an A-plus perfect fight.Published 12 Aug 2020, 05:41 IST