Justin Gaethje has explained why he wouldn’t have accepted a fight against 155lb champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 249.
Gaethje bravely stepped in to face Tony Ferguson for the interim lightweight title at UFC 249 after Nurmagomedov was forced off the card. The event was originally scheduled to take place on April 18 before being postponed. ‘The Highlight’ will now face Ferguson at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida this Saturday, May 9.
Speaking about his upcoming fight to Dan Hardy for BT Sports, Gaethje revealed he is a big fan of ‘El Cucuy’ and can only see carnage ensuing on fight night, he said.
“Man, I’ve been a fan of Tony for a long time. He loves when people call him crazy, it turns him on. He’s a certain kind of crazy that you have to be to step into that octagon. I believe I am just as crazy as him in that regard. So, I’ve said it before I think this is the definition of MMA, a match-up likes this. I do not believe it can not be a great fight. I believe there’s going to be serious carnage, some serious violence. I’ll probably bleed. I hope he breaks my nose. I’ve been waiting a long time for someone to break my nose so I can get it fixed. It going to be fun.”
Despite being willing to step up and face Ferguson on late notice, Gaethje admits he probably wouldn’t have made the same call if Nurmagomedov was the fight on offer, he explained.
“I don’t think I would have taken he fight against Khabib on short notice.”
“Match-up wise I think I have a much better chance of touching Tony’s chin than Khabib’s in the first two, three rounds. In order to get taken down once or twice and work up and still be able to fight I really do need at least 10 weeks. I’ve been training my whole life but there’s certain lactic acid that builds up and you really have to account for that, so I’d be foolish.”
Is Justin Gaethje right to avoid fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov on short notice?