New UFC interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje has a huge task on his hands: defeat undefeated lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Speaking on a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience, Gaethje explained how he intends to defeat Nurmagomedov, and succeed where 28 other fighters have failed.
The key, Gaethje believes, is keeping the action away from the fence, where Nurmagomedov’s takedowns are most effective.
“You gotta self-defense. Without the footwork, you can’t stay out of the fence,” Gaethje said. “If he is taking a shot in the open then he will drive you down to the fence. He’s not gonna attempt takedowns in the open. You watch all of his fights. You’ll maybe see five takedowns that he attempted in the middle of the cage. He’ll start in the middle but he is too pushy towards the cage.”
This is not the first time Gaethje has laid out his gameplan for his upcoming fight with Nurmagomedov.
Speaking to ESPN recently, he also placed importance on conditioning his legs so that he’s able to return to his feet if he’s taken down.
“I’m so athletic,” he said. “The first thing to go when you get tired is your legs, so my legs, from now until then, I’m gonna be running a lot, jump rope a lot, a lot of step ups, squats.
“If my legs are in shape I don’t get tired,” Gaethje added. “If I don’t get tired I can get back up. If I can get back up, I can hit him like a truck. I only gotta kick him eight times in the calves before he’s compromised. There’s lot of factors. I’m gonna work on being me, stay in shape. It’s all cardio.”
Do you think Justin Gaethje will end up handing Khabib Nurmagomedov his first professional loss? Make your prediction in the comments down below.