UFC 254: Former Champion Doesn’t Like Justin Gaethje Chances Against Khabib Nurmagomedov
When it comes to Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje, one former UFC champion isn’t sold on “The Highlight’s” chances.
On October 24, Nurmagomedov and Gaethje will collide in a UFC Lightweight Title unification bout. Nurmagomedov is the UFC Lightweight Champion, while Gaethje holds interim gold. The title fight will headline UFC 254 inside the Flash Forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
Eddie Alvarez, a man who has defeated Gaethje and is a former UFC Lightweight Champion, has weighed in on “The Highlight’s” chances against Nurmagomedov. During an interview with MMAJunkie.com, Alvarez said he isn’t convinced that Gaethje’s style will give Nurmagomedov pause.
“The style matchup I think – whenever I look at a big fight like that, the first thing I ask myself is kind of where I feel like the fight is going to take place. The majority of the fight, where is it going to happen, and I just see Khabib taking him down. We’ve got to assume it’s going to be on the ground, and I just don’t feel like Justin has the experience jiu-jitsu-wise to be able to deal with what Khabib is going to be able to bring on the ground.
“I think it takes some time, like a lot of strategy to fight a guy like Khabib, and I think Justin’s style is tailor made for Khabib. Justin is a come-forward fighter, and I think against a guy like Khabib, you need to be really lateral. You need to move a lot so he can’t get square and then get his shots in on you and Justin’s kinda there. He’s right in front of you and even his mind coming into the fight when I hear the media, ‘I’ve just got to create a car accident,’ I don’t know if that’s the right mindset against Khabib.”
Nurmagomedov is undefeated in his pro MMA career with a record of 28-0. “The Eagle” has beaten the likes of Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, Rafael dos Anjos, and Al Iaquinta. Gaethje is riding a four-fight winning streak. He has stopped all of his opponents in that span. His list of victims include Tony Ferguson, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, Edson Barboza, and James Vick.