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UFC 254: What if Justin Gaethje beats Khabib Nurmagomedov? (Opinion)

What if Gaethje does to Khabib what he did to Tony Ferguson?
What if Gaethje does to Khabib what he did to Tony Ferguson?
ANALYST
Modified 10 Aug 2020, 04:07 IST
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As soon as Khabib Nurmagomedov announced that he would have just two more fights before calling time on his career and those fights would be Justin Gaethje in October and GSP (Georges St. Pierre) in April, the entire focus seems to have shifted from the fight with Justin Gaethje to a possible return of GSP against Khabib.

In the process, it seems that everyone has completely discarded the possibility of Khabib Nurmagomedov even losing his fight against Justin Gaethje who, in the eyes of many should be considered one of the toughest challenges that 'The Eagle' will be going up against. 

What if Justin Gaethje pull-off the unthinkable?

What would happen if Justin Gaethje did what he did to Tony Ferguson? What if Justin Gaethje goes ahead and achieves the "impossible"? Where does Khabib go from there? Does he retire after his first loss? Or does he try to reclaim the title in a rematch? Somehow everyone seems to be missing the possibility of this happening.

Justin Gaethje has seen this narrative play out all too often with people writing him off before the Tony Ferguson fight as well. The result? He dominated Tony, got the win, and with that a shot at the title against Khabib. In the same way, he was written off after his two consecutive losses against Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier but ever since he hasn't lost a fight and dominated all of his opponents.

Khabib is arguably the best wrestler in UFC right now

Can he lose to Khabib? Yes, he can, But is he the toughest challenge to date for Khabib? In terms of credentials, in terms of style, Gaethje has to be considered one of the toughest challenges that Khabib will be coming across. Gaethje has some of the hardest hands in the game at Lightweight and in terms of wrestling credentials, no one comes close to his pedigree that has faced Khabib. 

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Khabib's wrestling has to be regarded as the best in the division and most if not all of the damage he inflicts on his opponents is on the ground. Will Khabib be able to take Gaethje down? And if he does, will he be able to keep him there? This could be one of the toughest challenges that Khabib will come across because if the fight is fought on the feet then Gaethje should have a decisive edge.

And last but not the least, Khabib has very recently lost his father and no one can be sure which Khabib will turn up in October. How Khabib has taken the loss of his father is something that's a bit of an unknown and we cannot be fully sure that he will have the best of camps for the fight. It will always be hard to predict which Khabib shows up for the fight until he gets into the octagon.

A fight against GSP will only materialize if Khabib can beat Gaethje
A fight against GSP will only materialize if Khabib can beat Gaethje

All in all, yes, it's exciting to think about a possible return of GSP but if that means we completely bypass the possibility of Justin Gaethje beating Khabib then I'd rather like to sit back and wait for the fight to pan out first.

Justin Gaethje has already killed one Mega-Fight that was going to take place between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov by beating Tony and taking the interim Lightweight Championship. He can very well do that again by killing GSP vs Khabib Mega-Fight by beating the latter. 

So for the fans already looking at a possible fight between GSP and Khabib, hold your horses, wait for UFC 254 because we could be in for a surprise.

Published 10 Aug 2020, 04:07 IST
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