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Daniel Cormier on how Khabib Nurmagomedov's father's death will be a 'motivation' for him against Justin Gaethje

UFC 242 Khabib v Poirier
UFC 242 Khabib v Poirier
R. Nath
Modified 12 Aug 2020, 17:55 IST

Khabib Nurmagomedov is set for what Daniel Cormier believes is the toughest opponent of his career. Now 28-0, Khabib Nurmagomedov will be facing UFC interim Lightweight Champion Justin Gaethje in the main event of UFC 254 - presumably on Fight Island.

Speaking to Yahoo Sports ahead of the final fight of his career, Daniel Cormier was asked about fellow-AKA teammate Khabib Nurmagomedov. Stating that Justin Gaethje would be his toughest opponent, he addressed the death of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov and how that will affect Khabib Nurmagomedov:

“I think he’s going to fight his toughest opponent. I think the vast majority of the world feels that this is the toughest guy for him at 155 [pounds]. I think he’ll be OK. His ability to train and prepare for this and continue to work toward the goal that him and his father had together will allow him to maybe come to terms with everything that’s happening around him."

Cormier thinks that Khabib Nurmagomedov's father's passing will serve as a motivator for him preparing for UFC 254:

“Sometimes you need distractions and you need motivations in different forms. I think Khabib will use [his father’s death] as motivation. He’s a professional. He’s a pro’s pro and he’s going to prepare himself to the best of his ability.”

A familiar face will come to Russia to help Khabib Nurmagomedov for UFC 254

Daniel Cormier said AKA head coach Javier Mendez will meet Khabib Nurmagomedov in Russia to help him train for UFC 254:

“The team will prepare him to the best of his ability, but he’ll also be around his family who loves him, and now he’ll see Javier from here, another familiar face who will help him to get through a difficult time as he prepares to defend his title again,” Cormier said.

It's going to be interesting to see how UFC 254 plays out. Justin Gaethje could be the toughest test of Khabib Nurmagomedov's career. The Highlight Reel recently said that he plans to create a "zone of death" when facing the Russian.

Published 12 Aug 2020, 17:55 IST
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