Interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje will finally get his crack at unifying his championship at UFC 254 against Khabib Nurmagomedov. ‘The Highlight’ spoke to the media at the pre-fight presser and broke down his game plan to dethrone the dominant champion. ‘The Eagle’ hasn’t lost a single fight in his professional career and has only one dropped one round in the UFC.
Nurmagomedov has set a new standard in the 155-pound division with the manner in which he dispatched his opponents. The 28-0 fighter uses suffocating top pressure that is brought about due to elite level chain wrestling. His ability to ground his opponents for the entire duration of their contest is a scary prospect for the men who step in to fight him.
The former WSOF champion did a deep dive into his preparation for Khabib Nurmagomedov and shared his approach to the match. Moreover, he touched on the fact that his collegiate wrestling background gave him a significant edge going into the fight.
“You know, I didn’t watch any tape on Khabib. I’ve watched his fights throughout his career, cause I’m a huge fan of MMA, but I didn’t go back when I got him as an opponent to analyze him. I’ve always focused on being my best self. He hasn’t fought somebody who’s wrestled or grappled for as long as he has, that’s me. I have.”
What’s more, Justin Gaethje also acknowledged the fact that Khabib closing in on opponent towards the fence spelled trouble immediately. However, he believes that his ferocity under the bright lights will be enough to win out the day.
“I will not allow him to put me on the fence. If I do, then I’m screwed. My game plan is, if he wants to grapple, then let’s grapple in the middle, and at all times, I’ve said it a thousand times, I cause damage. I have dense bones and I’m gonna kick his legs. That’s where it’s gonna start, and then we’re gonna move on from there.”
There is no doubt that Khabib Nurmagomedov will be the most threatening force Justin has faced in his career. Chiefly, ‘The Highlight’ will gear his focus towards keeping the fight on the feet with the utilization of anti wrestling. Will he be able to do so?
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