Justin Gaethje Plans to Bloody Khabib Nurmagomedov, Watch “Reaction”
Justin Gaethje has nothing but respect for Khabib Nurmagomedov. But, "The Highlight" says the champ's in for a new experience at UFC 254.
Chances are we’re not going to hear Justin Gaethje insulting Khabib Nurmagomedov as their October 24th bout approaches. But that doesn’t mean Gaethje isn’t planning to batter and bloody the renowned, lightweight champ at UFC 254.
Gaethje wants to “bloody” Khabib and watch his “reaction”
Gaethje has been booked to fight the lightweight champ after stopping Tony Ferguson this past May to win the interim belt. Gaethje isn’t a huge trash talker, to begin with, but since he and Khabib are both managed by Ali Abdelaziz, the two seem to be on pretty good terms.
As a result, to date, the stars haven’t been trading too many verbal jabs.
But, while Gaethje clearly respects Khabib, and understands how great of a fighter he is, don’t expect “The Highlight” to take it down a notch on fight night. Case in point, while talking to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto recently, the former WSOF champ said this (quotes via MMA Fighting).
“I have a really, really good belief that’s he’s gonna have a really hard time putting me on the fence,” Gaethje said.
“I know I’m going to see his blood. I want him to see his blood and I want to see his reaction.”
“I don’t think he’s as crazy as me, that’s the thing. I think he is crazy and loves competition, but he isn’t quite as crazy as me.
He also hasn’t seen his blood as many times, I’m sure. His style of fighting is not something where you are looking for blood or anything like that.
I bet that doesn’t even cross his mind that he will see his own blood. That has never been a factor for him.”
This is an interesting take from Gaethje. It is true that because Khabib has been so dominant in his UFC run, we don’t really know how he deals with prolonged adversity or issues like cuts.
Gaethje believes legacy will be “unmatched” with wins over Khabib and Conor McGregor
The ridiculously dangerous fighter also talked about what a win over Nurmagomedov would mean, as well as his future. It certainly sounds like if Gaethje beats Nurmagomedov, he’s more than willing to face Conor McGregor next.
“Legacy. That’s why I’m most excited for this opportunity. I’ve watched this sport for a long time..
I truly think that if I can beat Khabib and then beat Conor, I will have cemented something that is unmatched. Anderson Silva, I wouldn’t have matched his title reign.
That title reign is something unmatched . . . but in a different regard, it will be much bigger.
Khabib is the number one pound-for-pound (fighter) and you have to put it in context of me. Coming off those two losses, everyone was saying ‘He’s done.’
The fact that, the way I was fighting, we all loved it but there was absolutely not chance I was ever gonna fight for a world title. It will be a legacy that I came to cement.”
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There’s no question that if Gaethje hands Nurmagomedov his first loss, his stock will spike way, way up. But, will he be in uncharted territory, in terms of a legacy if he also defeats McGregor?
If you take title defenses out of your evaluation, as Gaethje seems to be doing, he could have a point. He will have defeated two of the biggest names in the sport in back-to-back fights.