Justin Gaethje wants to be challenged by the toughest opponents in the lightweight division, including none other than lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Nurmagomedov is currently busy preparing for his upcoming bout against Tony Ferguson, which is expected to take place in April 2020.
Speaking on Michael Bisping’s Believe You Me podcast, Gaethje said he believes Nurmagomedov will successfully defend his title for a third time, but is unsure what direction the fight will go in.
“I do think Khabib will win,” Justin Gaethje said (via MMA Junkie). “But I do think Tony is going to bring some … I don’t know if he’s going to lay on his back and throw elbows, I don’t know what the hell is going to happen there.
“Especially the way Khabib fights, and the way Khabib wins. It’s crazy how much and how hard Tony gets hit, how often he gets hit at fights but I don’t think that’s going to be a problem for him in this fight because Khabib is not going to be looking to exploit that.
“He’s going to do what he does. I’m really interested to see if Tony, his jiu-jitsu, for one, plays a factor, and for two, just his tenaciousness of being on the bottom and still wanting to fight.”
After a dominant victory against Dustin Poirier, Nurmagomedov admitted that the end is near. “The Eagle” only intends on fighting a few more times before retiring, and Gaethje is determined to be one of his final challenges:
“I’m trying to get to Khabib,” Gaethje said.
“Khabib, I know, has publicly stated he doesn’t have many fights left, so I have to fight him before he goes away. I can’t let him go undefeated without at least testing, being able to test him myself. I consider myself one of the most dangerous lightweights in the world and I bring different things that Khabib hasn’t had to deal with, necessarily.
“I have crazy power in my legs, in my arms, in my hands. I’m really good at wrestling. I’m super athletic. I’ve been wrestling as long as he has. Nobody has wrestled as long as he has except for me. So I’m trying to ultimately get that fight.”
Do you think we’ll ever see Justin Gaethje fight Khabib Nurmagomedov?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 11/29/2019.