Khabib Nurmagomedov leaves no secrets about his UFC 254 game plan

Daniel Cunningham
Sep 20, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Khabib Nurmagomedov during a press conference for UFC 229 at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most special things about Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0) is his honesty. The UFC lightweight champion never leaves it a secret as to what he’s going to do when he steps into the octagon. This Saturday night is no different.

Nurmagomedov will step into the cage at UFC 254 across from interim champion, Justin Gaethje (22-2). Stylistically, Gaethje might be the toughest test Khabib has ever faced inside of the octagon. Bringing incredible striking power with a wrestling background.

The Highlight was an All-American wrestler in college. However, his striking has become so lethal that he leans on that when he fights. Still, he has that wrestling pedigree in his back pocket whenever he needs it. That’s what makes this fight so intriguing.

However, Nurmagomedov is not changing things up when it comes to this fight. Khabib plans on doing the same thing that he’s done to all 28 of his opponents. He plans on dragging Gaethje to the ground and controlling him just like he’s controlled everyone else.

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“I know he(Gaethje) knows how to wrestle. But what about wrestling for 25 minutes? If I try to take him down once and he defends, I’m going to go all night. This is a big difference in US wrestling and Dagestan wrestling,” Nurmagomedov told reporters yesterday at the pre-fight press conference.

The UFC lightweight champion is brutally honest. He tells his opponents he’s going to try to take them down all night, yet nobody has been able to stop it. Conor McGregor couldn’t stop it, Dustin Poirier couldn’t stop it, and I could keep going on.

The UFC‘s interim lightweight champion, Gaethje, is the one guy in the division who might be able to stop it. The early rounds are going to be crucial for Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. He needs to inflict as much damage as he can early on in the fight.

He’s going to defend some takedowns on Saturday. However, I would bet my life savings that at some point, Nurmagomedov is going to land a takedown. That is where the real battle begins. Will Gaethje be able to get up, or will he succumb like the 28 men who have tried before him.