UFC Legend Assesses Justin Gaethje’s Chances Against Khabib Nurmagomedov
One UFC Hall of Famer is looking at how Justin Gaethje could have the secret sauce to defeat Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Gaethje is the interim UFC Lightweight Champion. Nurmagomedov holds the 155-pound gold and he’s looking for undisputed status once again. The two are set to collide on October 24 in the main event of UFC 254 on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. If either man has to pull out ahead of fight night, then Michael Chandler will serve as a replacement.
Appearing on Submission Radio, Bas Rutten explained how Gaethje could be the first man to defeat Nurmagomedov in a pro MMA fight (via MMAFighting.com).
“I think [Gaethje] could be the guy who beats [Khabib]. I truly believe so, because he’s a great wrestler – he might stop the takedowns. Listen, the best thing that ever happened to Gaethje was getting knocked out, because I had been telling him at the World Series of Fighting and PFL so many times, ‘Why do you fight like this?’ [He said], ‘Because it’s exciting and I want to be here for the fans.’ And I said, ‘Dude, eventually it’s going to hurt you. You want to be able to speak to your kids when you’re going to have kids, right?’
Gaethje has been on a four-fight winning streak. In that span, he’s beaten Tony Ferguson, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, Edson Barboza, and James Vick. Gaethje became the first fighter since May 2012 to defeat “El Cucuy,” snapping his 12-fight winning streak.
Nurmagomedov has been perfect throughout his career with a record of 28-0. He’s beaten the likes of Dustin Poirier, Conor McGregor, Al Iaquinta, and Rafael dos Anjos. A win over Gaethje would further enhance the legacy of “The Eagle.”