Matt Serra believes two fighters could solve the puzzle of Khabib Nurmagomedov.
At a stellar 28-0 and holding UFC lightweight gold, Nurmagomedov has become one of the most dominant fighters in the history of mixed martial arts competition. He’s coming off a successful title defense against Dustin Poirier, submitting “The Diamond” in the third round.
Former UFC welterweight champion Serra took to the UFC Unfiltered podcast to make the case for featherweight Brian Ortega having a chance against “The Eagle.”
“Styles make fights. I was thinking, I was there over in Abu Dhabi with Khabib fighting Dustin Poirier and he looked dominant as all F,” Serra said. “It was something else, but styles make fights. So after that fight I’m thinking, is there anything telling in the whole division that somebody can challenge him? [That] can really pose a threat. Two names immediately shot up in my head. One, Brian Ortega. I don’t give a f*ck what anyone says. That guillotine was tight as hell. I’d love to hear what Khabib says about it, but the fact that he had to go to his hip, he didn’t go straight up belly to ceiling cause he knows that could be it, he had to make him adjust his grip. That thing was tight man. So if somebody who is a little more precise or a lot more precise like Brian Ortega, in a transition with a takedown, he gets that arm around the neck, can he finish it?”
Ortega has weighed in on the moment Nurmagomedov was in Poirier’s guillotine. “T-City” feels he would’ve finished “The Eagle” if he were in that position.
Serra went on to say that fourth-ranked UFC lightweight Justin Gaethje could also pose some problems for Nurmagomedov.
“Who’s held down Gaethje and beat him up?” Serra continued. “Nobody. He’s so powerful, cardio never seems to be a problem. The way he puts his kicks and his hands [together]. He’s powerful with his fists.”
Do you see Brian Ortega or Justin Gaethje being viable threats to Khabib Nurmagomedov?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/18/2019.