Justin Gaethje might know how to wrestle, but the question for Khabib Nurmagomedov is if he can do it for 25 minutes.
Nurmagomedov faces Gaethje in their lightweight title unification fight at UFC 254 this weekend. It’s an intriguing fight as Gaethje has the wrestling credentials to match up well with Nurmagomedov given that he’s a Division I All-American.
While he’s never used it much in the UFC, many observers feel his wrestling background will help him defend against Nurmagomedov’s takedowns and keep the fight standing where he has a chance of winning.
Nurmagomedov: I’m Going To Go All Night With Wrestling
But as far as “The Eagle” is concerned, there is a big difference when it comes to Dagestani wrestling and American wrestling.
And it’s the fact that even if Gaethje does defend one of his takedowns, Nurmagomedov won’t be giving up on it — he will be going all night.
“What difference between Dagestan wrestling and American wrestling? This is a good question,” Nurmagomedov said at the pre-fight press conference. “I think it’s a big difference. I know he knows how to wrestle but what about wrestling for 25 minutes?
“I told DC today, ‘when you fight with Stipe Miocic last time, you grabbed his leg one time and you take him down. He get up very quickly and that’s it, you finish.’ Other minutes all going stand up but between me and DC is a big difference. If I’m going to try and take him [Gaethje] down once and he defends it good, I’m going to go all night. This is a big difference between US wrestling and Dagestan wrestling.”
"Worry about wrestling twenty-five minutes."
🏆 @TeamKhabib has plans on taking this to deep water.
— UFC (@ufc) October 21, 2020
We just have to wait a few more days to see if Gaethje will be able to handle it or become yet another fighter who succumbed to the wrestling of Nurmagomedov.