Chael Sonnen isn’t sure he shares in Dustin Poirier’s belief that Justin Gaethje can give Khabib Nurmagomedov his toughest test to date.
Speaking to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani last month, Poirier expressed his belief that Gaethje could give Nurmagomedov problems. Poirier has shared the Octagon with both Gaethje and Nurmagomedov. “The Diamond” doesn’t believe Tony Ferguson will be the man to stop “The Eagle” when they collide on April 18.
Taking to his YouTube channel, Sonnen gave his take on Poirier’s comments. The current ESPN and Bellator analyst said he isn’t 100 percent sold on Gaethje being a tougher fight for Nurmagomedov than Ferguson.
“I don’t know that I believe that Gaethje, while I do believe is a top contender, I do not know that I fully believe that Gaethje can give Khabib a harder fight than Tony’s about to give him,” Sonnen said on Justin Gaethje’s chances against Khabib. “But the mere fact that we’re discussing it is a compliment to Justin, for sure. Tony, former champion, whether it’s interim champion or not he’s a former champion. Khabib, current champion. So the fact that we’re now discussing Gaethje, I think that it’s very compelling I think that it’s very relevant.”
Sonnen then said that Gaethje is never to be underestimated and can be the go-to guy if the UFC needs to solve a problem at lightweight.
“I maintain, any question you have at 155, any question the right answer is Justin Gaethje.”
Gaethje does not currently have an opponent lined up. “The Highlight” has called for a showdown with Conor McGregor or a UFC lightweight title opportunity. Helwani recently reported that there are early talks of booking McGregor vs. Gaethje. Ali Abdelaziz, Gaethje’s manager, hopped on Twitter to deny the report.
While UFC president Dana White wants to book McGregor against the winner of Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson, the UFC boss doesn’t know if the “Notorious” one will wait.
Who do you think is the tougher matchup for Khabib Nurmagomedov, Justin Gaethje or Tony Ferguson?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/02/2020.