Khabib Nurmagomedov has fought a lot of power punchers in his UFC career but one opponent sticks out.
When Nurmagomedov fought Conor McGregor at UFC 229, many said he had to be worried about the Irishman’s power. He had been knocking everyone out at featherweight and knocked out and dropped Eddie Alvarez several times in his UFC lightweight debut. Yet, for “The Eagle” he says Justin Gaethje is the hardest hitter he has ever fought.
“This guy [Justin Gaethje] hit like a truck, you know. Nobody hit me harder than Justin Gaethje. His kick, his punch, his left hook, right hook, right uppercut,” Nurmagomedov said to Mike Tyson on his podcast (via LowKickMMA). “I make him hit me, you know. When I go to the cage and I was sitting like, ‘Okay, I’m gonna go, I’m gonna bring him into the deep ocean…I’m gonna make him tired in stand-up and I’m gonna bring him on the ground and finish him.”
It shouldn’t be too surprising to hear Nurmagomedov say Gaethje is the hardest hitter he has fought. “The Highlight” has been known for his power, as well as his heavy leg kicks in his career, and has legit one-punch KO power. He also landed some good shots on Nurmagomedov, but the champ was able to take the shots and eventually get the submission win.
Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0) is the former lightweight champion and retired following his submission victory over Gaethje. He defended his belt three times, winning all three by submission, with the other two over Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor. In his career, he also beat the likes of Rafael dos Anjos, Edson Barboza, Michael Johnson, Al Iaquinta, and Gleison Tibau among others.
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