By : Jalalaisa Geleto
There has been a lot of excitement around UFC 254. It puts the legendary, undefeated, Khabib Numergamdov, up against one of his toughest foes yet, Justin Gaethje.
Justin Gaethje might be one of Khabib’s hardest matchups yet. So much so that thousands are betting Gaethje will stop Khabib’s lightweight title reign.
Stylistic Khabib, and Gaethje, come from the same background: wrestling. They are both phenomenal wrestlers but Gathje hasn’t used his wrestling at all during his UFC career and mostly focuses on striking (punches, kicks, elbows, knees). Khabib on the other hand stuck with his grappling (wrestling, jiu jitsu, judo, etc.) and has won most of his fights by out grappling his opponents.
People believe that Gaethje will use his D1 level wrestling with his precise striking to beat Khabib. They believe that Gaethje’s defensive wrestling (which we’ve never seen from him in the UFC) will stop Khabib from getting any takedowns and dominating Gaethje. If Khabib can’t get any takedowns, then he would be outmatched in a striking match by Gaethje.
On the other side, Khabib fans believe that literally no one can defend themselves from a barrage of attempted takedowns from khabib. They believe that Gaethje’s defensive wrestling can’t stop Khabibs attempts, or that Khabib will make, or find, an opening eventually. They believe that once it gets to the ground (takedown successful) Khabib will keep on striking him and holding him down making him support all his weight. They believe that Khabib has the endurance to completely wear down Gaethje.
Earlier this summer, Khabib’s father passed away. Many believe a fight a couple months after a loss like that will impact Khabib and he won’t be at his best. You can tell by his recent interview, the man has really low energy and seems depressed. Others believe that his father’s death will motivate him to give us his best performance yet, in the name of his deceased father.
Justin Gaethje has shown a lot of respect towards Khabib and there hasn’t been any trash talking at all between them. It’s just two men looking for glory and honor and that’s what’s attracting so many people to this fight.
According to Dana White, the fight is predicted to make 26 billion dollars, and that’s with conservative information used to make this prediction. Justin Gaethje vs. Khabib Numergumaduv is looking to break the UFC pay-per-view record, which was just broken a month ago with Adesanya vs. Costa.
This will be a fight to be remembered.