A lot of people feel that Khabib Nurmagomedov has his toughest opponent to date next, as he faces Justin Gaethje. Former UFC champ Bas Rutten seems to think that this will ultimately be too much for the champ to handle.
Rutten is actually quite familiar with Gaethje, having called his fights in the World Series of Fighting before “The Highlight” was in the UFC. Now the fighter known for being a wild brawler has matured, using patience and a smart gameplan to end Tony Ferguson’s legendary unbeaten streak and earn the interim lightweight title. He will have the opportunity to unify that title at UFC 254, when he faces the terrifying undefeated Dagestani, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Bas Rutten Thinks Justin Gaethje Will Beat Khabib Nurmagomedov
Although most people are favoring the champ, the general consensus is that Justin Gaethje poses some unique challenges that could give Khabib problems. One of these people is Bas Rutten, who said as much when speaking on Submission Radio. He explained that he thinks that the wrestling background, endless cardio, and leg kicks will be able to earn him the victory.
“I think (Gaethje) could be the guy who beats (Khabib). I truly believe so, because he’s a great wrestler, he might stop the takedowns,” Rutten said. “Now Khabib is going to face someone with endless stamina, a heart as big as a freaking lion’s. Even if he’s tired he’s going to do crazy things. He’s got great low kicks, takedown defense, and who knows man? He’s really started thinking later in his career, and that’s why you see him shine now. Maybe he’s going to shoot for a takedown. You don’t know what he’s going to do, because he’s never done it before.”
As for specific tactics, Bas Rutten thinks that Gaethje’s path to victory lies in the later rounds. He thinks that of Gaethje can get Khabib tired and stop the takedowns, he can use his brutal leg kicks to get the win.
“I think that if Gaethje is pushing, pushing, pushing him, and he starts to get tired, that’s the moment when you start implementing the low kicks. Like in rounds three or four when they start getting tired, because Khabib’s never fought a guy like Gaethje. This guy just comes forward the whole time and everything is power, and he’s got endless stamina. He’s a very hard guy to fight.”
Do you think Bas Rutten is right about Justin Gaethje being able to beat Khabib Nurmagomedov? How do you see the fight playing out?