Justin Gaethje measures into the Octagon on Oct 24th at UFC 254 with a purpose of doing what no other fighter prior to him has done: defeat Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The critical to successful versus the Dagestani light-weight champion? In Gaethje’s eyes, it’s his lifetime of wrestling working experience. This goes further than the ability to keep upright towards Nurmagomedov, but into the headspace needed to survive Khabib’s countless grappling onslaught.
In an interview with ESPN SportsCenter, Gaethje defined how his time on the mats can help him.
“I’ve wrestled my total life, and each time you move in there, wrestling is not dangerous but they are even now hoping to acquire every thing from you,” he said. “It’s mano a mano. Just about every time I stepped out on to that mat it was mano a mano and I’ve been in that situation so several periods and I have discovered it feels good to break individuals. Feels good to make men and women stop on them selves. Not in everyday living, but in a competition environment it is the finest feeling there is.”
“What wrestling delivers you is a frame of mind: to in no way quit, at any time,” Gaethje continued. “Ever. Really do not at any time quit on oneself. If you stop, you’re quitting on you, and I refuse to allow that. If he receives his way it is gonna be hell and it’s gonna suck and you might see that appear on my face but it won’t be the glance of wanting to give up, it’ll just be the search of disappointment if just about anything.”
“But I’ve been doing the job really challenging to protect against that from happening. I’ve worked my total lifetime as a subject of fact. He has not fought anyone who has wrestled their entire life. That is worked as tricky or as very long as he has. We’re the same age. I started off at 4 decades outdated. There’s no way he’s been executing this or getting ready for this more time than me.”
Justin manufactured it crystal clear even though that he did not expect to be in a position to split Khabib like he’s broken some others, on the mat or on the ft. It’ll take a straight knockout to put Khabib away.
“The way I’m likely to conquer him is by putting him to slumber,” Gaethje predicted. “Taking his system and having consciousness absent from his overall body. Which is how I earn this battle. Neither just one of us is heading to give up, neither one of us will give up. Once again, we have equally been training our complete lives. We both equally will give our life for this possibility. As shallow as that may possibly audio, we stay for something, and for this. And we have been making ready our entire lives for this. It’s who we are, it’s what we do, and it’s likely to be a good struggle. And I’ll be damned, I ain’t likely out like no punk.”
As a lot as Gaethje plainly respects Khabib as an opponent and competitor, even though, it did not seem like he was ready to indication off on Nurmagomedov as a GOAT or even contender for finest light-weight.
“He gained his belt from Al Iaquinta, that wasn’t even a authentic title fight so that does not count,” he explained. “And he beat Dustin Poirier and he beat Conor McGregor. So that is two pictures. It’s likely to be difficult for him to move anybody in that regard due to the fact he only fights once a yr, if that.”
“So he’s likely to be remembered as one particular of the finest of all time since of how he beats persons. When you say this man fought 28 instances and only missing a single round, that is distinctive. Which is a little something we’ll talk about for good. He won’t have a regular legacy persay, he’s form of producing a diverse just one. A various path for other persons.”
Which is not the legacy he’s fascinated in, should really he beat Khabib at UFC 254.
“There isn’t a particular person that has acquired this belt and defended it a lot of times,” Gaethje concluded. “That will be the purpose.”