Colby Covington believes Khabib Nurmagomedov will be facing his first real test in the lightweight division soon in Justin Gaethje.
Nurmagomedov collides with Gaethje in a lightweight title unification clash that will headline UFC 254 on October 24 in Fight Island. In Gaethje, Nurmagomedov not only faces a brawler with knockout power, but also an All-American wrestler with the credentials to challenge him on the ground — at least on paper.
That is one reason why the normally outspoken Covington believes it will be a good fight even if he does feel Gaethje can be reckless at times.
“I think that will be a good fight,” Covington told Submission Radio. “It’s good for Justin, he’s looked good lately. But I don’t know, he fights recklessly. But he’s got the good wrestling accolades to stop Khabib.”
Covington: Gaethje Is First Test For Khabib
For all of Nurmagomedov’s domination inside the Octagon, he has faced very few high-level wrestlers and Gaethje would certainly count as the highest level he will be facing even if he is yet to use it inside the UFC.
That is also one reason why Covington believes “The Eagle” doesn’t want to move up to welterweight in the future.
“I know Khabib doesn’t want to come up to 170 to face a guy like me because he knows he can’t take me down and then he’s just going to get outstruck,” Covington added. “This [Gaethje] will be the first test he has with a guy who can actually wrestle so it should be interesting.”
Of course, these comments seem to have come before Gaethje’s recent not-so-kind words for Covington following their meeting with President Donald Trump.
It would certainly be interesting to see if “Chaos” has changed his opinion of the fight since.