Unlocking Victory: Khabib vs Gaethje
UFC 254 will undoubtedly be one for ages. The title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje will be a contest between wrestlers. Khabib’s fighting style is heavily reliant upon his relentless mix of grappling and ground and pound strikes that leave his opponents both mentally and physically beaten. His demoralizing style has been the cornerstone of his success. He faces one of his toughest challenges yet against Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje who has wrestling accolades to his credit competing in college as a Division I wrestler after graduating from high school in Safford, Arizona.
Wrestling pedigree and Arizona have strong roots. The UFC has embraced several wrestlers from Arizona including Dominick Cruz and Henry Cejudo. The Arizona State University to Mixed Martial Arts pipeline has seen a few champions including Ryan Bader and Cain Velasquez and competitors including Aaron Simpson, Bubba Jenkins, and CB Dalloway. Justin hails from Safford, Arizona and is now the interim champion set to seize the belt from perhaps the best lightweight champion ever.
Gaethje will find success in the exchanges with Khabib and initiating scrambles on Khabib’s take down attempts. Keeping some distance can prove the deciding factor against a grappler like Khabib. On the other hand, Khabib, who continues to improve his overall game each time he steps into the octagon. We’ve seen his ability to strike against Conor McGregor so he may surprise fans in the exchanges between him and Justin. Either way fight fans tune in and watch wherever you can!