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Justin Gaethje Discusses Game Plan to Defeat Khabib Nurmagomedov

No one has been able to defeat Khabib Nurmagomedov in the cage just yet. But, the man who is supposed to fight him next, Justin Gaethje, recently shared his strategy on how to change that.

No one has been able to add ‘1’ to the loss column that’s beside Khabib Nurmagomedov’s name yet, even though the UFC’s lightweight champ has fought 28 times. But, Justin Gaethje recently shared what he thinks he needs to do, in order to defeat the champ.

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Gaethje discusses game plan to beat Nurmagomedov

Although no date has been set as this is being written, Gaethje is expected to face the undefeated champ sometime later this year. That’s because Gaethje is currently holding the interim lightweight title, which he won at UFC 249 last month, by stopping Tony Ferguson.

Recently the interim champ appeared on Joe Rogan’s podcast, and Gaethje was asked about the keys to defeating Khabib. Here’s what Gaethje had to say (quote via BJ Penn.com).

“You gotta self-defense. Without the footwork, you can’t stay out of the fence,” Gaethje said. “If he is taking a shot in the open then he will drive you down to the fence.

He’s not gonna attempt takedowns in the open. You watch all of his fights. You’ll maybe see five takedowns that he attempted in the middle of the cage.

He’ll start in the middle but he is too pushy towards the cage.”

It’s an interesting observation, and there’s no question that Nurmagomedov is a machine, when it comes to scoring takedowns along the fence. So, if Gaethje can keep the bout in the center of the Octagon, and standing, then he has an excellent chance of defeating the star.

After all, Gaethje’s boxing has never looked better, and he hits ridiculously hard. The question is, will Gaethje’s footwork and wrestling – he is a former NCAA Division 1 competitor – negate Khabib’s takedowns?

Gaethje comments on his athleticism 

Well, even if Gaethje is taken down by Nurrmagomedov, he’s confident he can get back to his feet. While talking to ESPN recently, the former WSOF champ said this.

“I’m so athletic,” he said. “The first thing to go when you get tired is your legs, so my legs, from now until then, I’m gonna be running a lot, jump rope a lot, a lot of step ups, squats.

“If my legs are in shape I don’t get tired,” Gaethje added. “If I don’t get tired I can get back up. If I can get back up, I can hit him like a truck.

I only gotta kick him eight times in the calves before he’s compromised. There’s lot of factors. I’m gonna work on being me, stay in shape. It’s all cardio.”

It’s a fascinating match-up, and it’s worth noting that even before Gaethje beat Ferguson, some folks were arguing he would be a tougher test for Khabib than “El Cucuy”.

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