Justin Gaethje believes there are only two opponents out there that can rival Khabib Nurmagomedov, and he is one of them.
At the MMA awards last night, Justin Gaethje spoke to Aaron Bronsteter of TSN about the possibility of fighting the current lightweight champion Nurmagomedov. He believes only Tony Ferguson and himself stand in the way of “The Eagle’s” undefeated pro record.
“Tony is dangerous on his feet,” he said. “He’s probably the most dangerous from his back. Physically, as far as slashing you open with the elbows, this is something Khabib would definitely have to worry about. You can’t just go in there and sit on top and be boring. So he’s going to have to work and Tony might cut him up when he’s on the bottom.’
When talking about his own fighting style, Gaethje said:
“I can stop takedowns, I’ve been stopping takedowns my whole life. And I hit hard as fuck, so we will see.”
Some of the greatest fighters in the division have failed to overcome the grappling power of Khabib Nurmagomedov. However, Gaethje is confident he has the wrestling background and chin to withstand any of the Russian’s punishment of punishment.
Justin Gaethje has made it clear he doesn’t want to fight anyone ranked below him. Ranked above him are Donald Cerrone, McGregor, Poirier and Ferguson. Yesterday, Gaethje revealed he turned down a fight with Ferguson, but only because the timing didn’t line up for him. He is looking to fight and win against one of these highly ranked contenders in the hopes of landing a title shot against Nurmagomedov.
Khabib Nurmagomedov is currently tied up to his next fight in Abu Dhabi against Dustin Poirier. “The Eagle” previously showed an interest in a Gaethje vs Ferguson fight at Abu Dhabi as a co-main event. The winner would take on the winner of the other fight. Nurmagomedov is still looking to fight Ferguson in the future, as this will solidify his world-class fighting legacy. Do you think Ferguson or Gaethje could threaten Khabib Nurmagomedov? Let us know your thoughts.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/4/2019.