Khabib Nurmagomedov has given his prediction for a showdown with Justin Gaethje.
Nurmagomedov is set to face Gaethje on October 24. The bout will headline UFC 254 inside the Flash Forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. It’ll be a title unification fight as Nurmagomedov is the UFC Lightweight Champion, while Gaethje holds the interim gold.
Speaking to reporters during a virtual media day session, Nurmagomedov said his strategy in preparation for “The Highlight” will remain unchanged (h/t MMAFighting.com).
“Nothing changes. I’m going to try wrestling with him. If he’s going to defend my takedowns for a long time, I’m going to try second, third, I’m going to try 100 times. Of course, I’m going to box with him. I’m going to kick with him. It’s going to be kickboxing and wrestling mixed.”
“The Eagle” went on to reveal that he believes he has the ability to wear Gaethje out and finish him in the third or fourth round.
“My goal is to make him tired. I’m going to make him tired. This is my goal. Maybe round No. 3 or round No. 4, my plan is finish him.”
Nurmagomedov has been perfect in his pro MMA career thus far. He’s amassed a record of 28-0. Along the way, Nurmagomedov has beaten the likes of Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and Rafael dos Anjos.
Gaethje has won his last four bouts. In that span, he’s defeated Tony Ferguson, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, Edson Barboza, and James Vick. When Gaethje defeated Ferguson, he became the first man to accomplish the feat since May 2012.