Like with previous opponents, Khabib Nurmagomedov feels his win over Justin Gaethje is now being downplayed by the media and experts.
Nurmagomedov comfortably defeated Gaethje in the UFC 254 headliner this past weekend to unify the lightweight titles. The Dagestan native used pressure and volume early on before taking “The Highlight” to the ground where he sunk in the triangle choke to get the victory.
Leading up to the fight, many earmarked Gaethje as the toughest possible test for Nurmagomedov given his punching power and All-American wrestling credentials. In the end, it didn’t matter as Nurmagomedov ran through Gaethje in what was arguably the most impressive performance of his career.
And when asked by Dagestan media whether he felt any threat from Gaethje’s power, Nurmagomedov noted the hypocrisy of the media and experts who were calling Gaethje the toughest challenge of his career.
“There was lots of talk from journalists and experts that this would be my toughest challenge and as always, after the fight they say that he’s a puncher, that he can’t work on the ground,” Nurmagomedov said. “That always happens after my fights.”
Nurmagomedov Almost Followed Game Plan To A Tee
Nurmagomedov would go on to reveal what the game plan was for Gaethje and how it was almost perfectly followed by him with one small exception.
“He threw punches and kicks. The plan was to pressure him to force him to strike and make mistakes and wear him out in the first round,” Nurmagomedov added. “Then to attack him in the second round. As you saw, he was winded at the end of the first round and everything was going to plan.
“… With the exception of my cornermen saying that I was going in too strong [everything went to plan], I was practically running at him and we planned it a bit differently but when I got in the Octagon, my mindset changed.”
While it is true that some are downplaying the win over Gaethje because of the latter’s performance on the ground, it doesn’t take anything away from Nurmagomedov’s performance.
After all, he is now currently ranked the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world as per the UFC rankings.
You can watch the full interview below: