UFC 254 Preview: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje Preview and Prediction

UFC 254 Preview: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje Preview and Prediction

Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje Preview

Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje are about to clash in the most spectacular UFC match this year. The stake is high – lightweight title. Khabib has the perfect record and was the undisputed figure so far, while on the other side, Gaethje is the rising power and is in impressive form.

Nurmagomedov -330

The champion has 28 straight wins in the MMA and didn’t lose a single fight in his career. Many big names felt his grip and strength, among them Al Iaquinta, Edson Barboza, Michael Johnson, Dustin Poirier, and of course, Conor McGregor.

His impeccable wrestling, and maybe not so attractive approach are something enigmatic for all the fighters in the division, because we haven’t seen a guy who was able to compete with the Russian.

Khabib will no doubt have a massive motive to win this fight. After his father’s death, the champion proclaimed that he plans to finish the career with a 30-0 record, which was also his late father’s wish.

Gaethje +270

His stunning win over Tony Ferguson, who was considered the only one able to stop Khabib, shook the MMA world. The American was ruthless against El Cucuy, hurting him with all sorts of weapons. Ferguson, one of the most devastating fighters in the UFC was looking helpless against Gaethje’s surges.

Prior to this dominant victory, Gaethje had three first-round wins, all of them via knockout. The streak started against James Vick, then continued against Edson Barboza, and Donald Cerrone. All of these guys experienced what is like when Highlight hits you with his hook.

Punches are Gaethje’s biggest advantage over all the rivals in the division. There aren’t many who can endure his combos, while on the other side, he proved to have a pretty solid chin.

Prediction

The one thing that presents a mystery with Gaethje is his gameplan on the ground. Is he capable of restraining Khabib on the canvas, or to even avoid reaching into such a position.

We never saw his tank after enduring a round of hard-intensity wrestling, and that is the only reason why the edge in this battle goes to the Russian. Also, after reviewing both guys’ recent fights, betting on the match to end before the start of round 4 seems realistic, with the odds at -130 for this pick.