We're less than three weeks away from UFC 254's main event between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje. When a fighter is so good at one particular department in MMA, they don't feel the need to change their strategy, since knowing what it makes no difference to his opponent.
That's exactly what grappling is to Khabib Nurmagomedov and 28 men have come and they have all failed to beat him. Facing wrestlers and strikers both, the only word that can be used to describe Khabib Nurmagomedov inside the Octagon is "dominant".
Khabib Nurmagomedov's next opponent Justin Gaethje is a man who many feel will give him a big problem and has been regarded as his potentially toughest opponent to date.
Speaking to the media ahead of UFC 254 (H/T MMAFighting), Justin Gaethje revealed that his gameplan is to avoid the ground and fence as much as he possibly can:
“If he does take me down, I need to make sure that I threaten him with something up the middle is going to make him hesitate the next time. That’s what I’ll be in there doing.”
Justin Gaethje also declared that he wants to make a statement by submitting the submission specialist:
“I’m going to try to beat him into submission,” Gaethje said. “I want him to quit. I want him to know I’m the superior athlete, the superior man. That’s the goal of this game.”
How realistic is Justin Gaethje's opportunity against Khabib Nurmagomedov?
This is a tricky fight and could end up being a chess match. The Tony Ferguson fight at UFC 249 proved that Justin Gaethje is shifting towards a more safe style of fighting rather than his somewhat-reckless previous self.
In the eyes of many fans, this is going to be just another day in the office for the UFC Lightweight Champion. However, Gaethje mentioned in the media day that his confidence is a big factor and that his dynamic with coach Trevor Wittman plays a big part in that too.
He also stated that he doesn't care as much about winning or losing, but more regarding a great performance. UFC 254 will be a fun PPV to watch.Published 05 Oct 2020, 06:57 IST