UFC lightweight Justin Gaethje is one of only nineteen fighters in UFC history to hold an Interim Championship.
Gaethje will be hoping to get his hands on the undisputed 155-pound title tomorrow night when he finally gets his shot at the king of the division Khabib Nurmagomedov. However, his first taste of gold in the UFC came earlier this year when he dominated Tony Ferguson, who was also a former interim title holder, to win the belt and set up the fight against “The Eagle”.
As noted by Jed I. Goodman on Twitter, they aren’t the only men to have been in that position.
— Jed I. Goodman (@jedigoodman) October 23, 2020
Some of the greatest fighters in UFC history have held the interim title in the past, but Gaethje will hope that he follows in the footsteps of most by going on to win the undisputed belt too.
One man who will do everything in his power to ensure that happens is Trevor Wittman, with the famous coach believing that Gaethje has hidden his most important weapon yet.
“I tailor my game plans throughout a career for a championship fight,” Wittman explained on Thursday during UFC 254 media day. “We work on fundamentals from the beginning. One thing that I think that we were able to do very well was keep our most important weapon hidden and with Justin Gaethje, he’s a extremely good wrestler and he’s got a very unique style in wrestling.
“He hasn’t had to use it. Again, it’s very hard to go and game plan against someone’s wrestling when they haven’t showed it.”
“I feel good about [Justin’s wrestling] but Khabib is the best at what he does,” Wittman said. “It’s not like I’m going ‘we’re going to go out there and out wrestle him.’ Again, that’s just a little bonus of what we have. It’s an opportunity to go out there and face the best and I do believe Khabib, I believe he’s the best pound-for-pound [fighter]. I’ve thought that for a long period of time. I mean there’s other fighters that put on exciting fights and you can consider them best pound-for-pound and who they’ve faced and things like that.
“But it’s patterns. Who’s the most consistent? When it comes to being consistent, that’s the key to being great. It’s consistency. Khabib is that.”