Justin Gaethje Talks Strategy For Khabib Nurmagomedov, Promises to “Meet Force With Force”
Justin Gaethje is hoping to fight for the belt next, and if he ends up facing Khabib Nurmagomedov, "The Highlight's" outlined how he'll battle the undefeated star.
Some things have to fall into place first, before a fight with Justin Gaethje and Khabib Nurmagomedov materializes. But, following his impressive victory over Donald Cerrone on Saturday, Gaethje outlined how he will attack the undefeated champ, if and when they fight.
Gaethje’s latest victory
Gaethje and Cerrone threw down in the main event of UFC Vancouver, in what was one of the most highly anticipated bouts of the year. Gaethje came with his feared leg kicks right out of the gate, and late in the opening round, he floored Cerrone with a booming right hook. After landing a couple more shots, the fight was called, handing Gaethje his third straight, first-round victory.
Gaethje talks Nurmagomedov
Immediately after his win, Gaethje called for a fight with the winner of Nurmagomedov – Tony Ferguson. The lightweight champ is expected to face Ferguson next, but the fight has yet to be signed, following Khabib’s win over Dustin Poirier earlier this month.
While talking to the media afterward, Gaethje was of course, asked about a fight with Khabib. When asked how he would approach a fight with the galaxy class wrestler and grappler, Gaethje said this (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“I haven’t even heard Tony’s going to fight so if an injury occurs then absolutely I want that fight,” Gaethje added.
“He probably beats me if you put it on paper but I hit so hard, I kick so hard and I’m so athletic,” Gaethje said about a potential matchup with Nurmagomedov. “The way you stop a takedown in wrestling is to meet force with force. You don’t try to go away. I won’t touch the cage.”
“If he’s going to take me down, it’s going to be in the middle and he’s going to get his leg kicked a few times before he even gets a shot off.”
There’s no question that Ferguson deserves the next title shot, and many believe his unorthodox striking and dangerous guard will pose serious threats for Khabib. But, there’s a lot about Gaethje’s skill set, which on paper, could also make for an interesting scrap with the champ.
Gaethje has become one of the top and most popular fighters in the game due to his relentless pressuring, vicious leg kicks and heavy hands. As a result, the fact Gaethje was an NCAA Division 1 All-American wrestler gets overlooked. Khabib’s wrestling and takedowns are legendary, yes. But, Gaethje would be one of the most accomplished wrestlers Nurmagomedov has faced to date in the Octagon.