UFC Prediction: Khabib Nurmagomegdov vs Justin Gaethje
An exciting and promising fight awaits us on October 24. Khabib Nurmagomedov will face Justin Gaethje during UFC 254 and try to extend his fantastic winning series.
Khabib has already arrived on Fight Island and managed to take part in a press conference. He looked calm, but in his eyes we could read that this fight plays the most crucial role in his career and that a lot is riding on it.
Nurmagomedov has a series of 28 victories and does not think to stop there, as he wants to go down in history and become the undisputed champion. As he says, he wants to leave a legacy, and he needs to win the upcoming meeting for this purpose.
The Russian fighter made it clear that he would not change his tactics and fight not letting his opponent get off his feet. He was great at doing this in all of the previous bouts, but his opponents’ training on the ground left much to be desired. Note that before he managed to deal with Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier. In both cases, he managed to physically exhaust the rivals, as a result of which he could carry out a favorite technique – strangulation from behind.
Khabib stressed that if he fails to carry out a takedown, he will, in no case, stop and continue to try to get to his feet.
However, we saw perfectly well that in the last fight with Poirier, Nurmagomedov in the second round was shaken by a tight right hand, so it is unknown if he will hold back even more painful punches from Justin. However, the significant advantage of Khabib is his psychological stability and confident behaviour in the octagon. He always tries to act clearly according to the plan and is not used to taking risks.
Plus, Nurmagomedov has a high fighting IQ and is always one step ahead. The Russian gave a vast number of interviews to various publications, and we managed to find out that he plans to end the fight in the third round with a guillotine. Also, in addition to rear strangulation, he has a large number of techniques in his arsenal. As Khabib himself admitted, he has not yet fully revealed himself in the UFC and still something to show.
Khabib’s control is admirable. His primary task is to pin his opponent to the net and hold him throughout the entire round, waiting until the opponent fizzles out. Then there is a matter of technique, which cannot be taken away from a Russian fighter.
Many wrote off Justin in the fight with Ferguson and considered him an outsider. However, that day he amazed absolutely everyone with his discipline and will to win.
No, he did not jump on the opponent as before, risking a missed strike. Instead, he gradually destroyed Tony in all respects, eventually breaking his entire face. It was this manner of fighting that showed that the American was ready for the title fight.
As Justin admitted at the final press conference that he did not watch or analyze a single meeting with the participation of Khabib, but, frankly, it seemed that he was cunning to dull Nurmagomedov’s attention. Most likely, this is some kind of a psychological move.
— Justin Gaethje 🇺🇸 (@Justin_Gaethje) October 23, 2020
All of Justin’s fights are spectacular, without any exception. Even now he says that he goes to the octagon with Nurmagomedov to arrange a real show. You can trust him because incredible power lurks in his blows.
If you give him at least 30 seconds to stay at a distance, Gaethje will have enough time for a knockout. Besides, he has excellent protection against takedowns. Although he has not beaten his rivals by submission for a long time, he knows how to get out of a difficult situation in any way possible.
The American probably put even more effort into training and emphasized protecting against submissions because he knows very well what he will have to face in the upcoming fight.
It is impossible not to mention the coach of Justin, who has vast experience behind him and is very good at preparing fighters for specific opponents. By the way, Nurmagomedov himself stated this: “Justin has a very good coach. If you saw his last fight, the coach gave him excellent advice.”
Note that Gaethje throws very painful low-kicks, which he demonstrated perfectly on Tony Ferguson. Then he thoroughly beat off his leg by the second round and forced Ferguson to change the posture.
His most potent weapon is that Justin considers the confidence that he gained after winning the previous meeting. It gave him a tremendous amount of strength and motivation. We know that psychologically it is tough to break Gaethje. He will try to hold on for as long as necessary.
Justin’s endurance is also in full order, and he is quite capable of walking even the total distance. He will even have a chance to finish Khabib at the very beginning, while Nurmagomedov is looking for the moment of going to his feet and assessing the distance.
Khabib Nurmagomegdov – Justin Gaethje prediction
In our opinion, Justin has good chances in this confrontation. At the moment, he is the only serious contender for Khabib, who, indeed, can cause a lot of problems in the octagon. Gaethje has a powerful punch, and he is capable of knocking out Khabib at any time, as soon as he has the necessary space. The American can also get out of difficult positions on the ground, and his defence against takedowns is reliable.
Bookmakers again believe in the victory of Khabib. Still, this time, we would not bet on his success, simply because even psychologically he has a hard time after his father’s death.
In any case, this meeting will be bright and spectacular, and you can fully enjoy it. But taking into account all the above, we consider the odds bookmakers are giving on Justin to be unreasonably high.