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UFC 254: Khabib vs Gaethje - Oct 24 🇦🇪 🏝


Who wins and how?   

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I'd rather Gaethje win, but whilst styles do make matchups, I'm not looking past Nurmagomedov for this one. We do this every time for either Jones or Nurm, talking about how "this guy's got his number", etc. From what I've seen, yes, Gaethje has probably the best chance thus far that any contender's had of handing Nurmagomedov his first loss, but bear in mind he still hasn't lost yet, and the list of scalps he's taken in the UFC is not made up of chumps. The only people who could be considered truly the "elite" of the LW division that he hasn't faced thus far are Gaethje and Ferguson, and everybody else in the top 10 he's either beaten, or we have a fairly good idea wouldn't have much of a chance against him (certainly, I don't think Dan Hooker, Kevin Lee, or Paul Felder do). 

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Saturday: Khabib retires. Monday morning: Conor coming back down to 155...

#ChippyTeaForUFC Chicken Kebab on chips, peppers, onions and kebab sauce.  Eaten early enough so that there's plenty of room for beer here in a little while. 

Alright then. Saturday 24th October. Fight Island hosts this bastard... PPV MAIN CARD Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje - Lightweight Title Robert Whittaker vs Jared Cannonier 

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Yeah I’m still thinking Khabib gets it done myself. But it’s certainly the most intriguing matchup to date for him. As good as fighters like McGregor and Poirier are, you always got the sense Khabib’s style would overwhelm them. Especially McGregor. With Gaethje, on paper his strengths make this very interesting. Plus there’s the x-factor of where Khabib’s head might be at given the loss of his old man. That could effect him negatively or push him to go up another level, which is a terrifying thought. I don’t know what to think. While Gaethje’s got the tools to give Khabib issues, the flipside is that Gaethje has also never faced anyone like Khabib. It’s the most unsure I’ve been of a Khabib fight so far but even still, I’m giving the champ the edge. 

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I think that is an absolutely spot on point and one that everyone shouldn't forget. As much as i really do dislike Khabib, You cannot ever take away from the guy that he really is another level in this sport. I do feel Justin has the tools to really test him and bring home the win above anyone else in the company but you cannot and should never overlook the sheer power/talent that Khabib possesses.

I will be watching at the very edge of my seat and no doubt i will be shouting very loudly at my tv throughout  

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Given that Khabib was talking about retiring after his next couple of fights, do we think he would retire if he lost to Gaethje? Or do we think he would want to fight at least one more time so as not to retire on a loss?

And if Khabib wins, who do we see next for him? The GSP fight? Ferguson if he gets a couple of wins?

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I think that's a really good point. I haven't actually seen that Khabib is thinking about hanging the gloves up, However i think if Justin does pull out the victory it would be the perfect time for him to do it. 

In terms of him winning i don't really belive there is anyone in the company that can show up and actually have the tools in order too beat him. 
Like i've said even though i don't like him as a fighter, I wouldn't for a second try to argue the fact that he isn't a unbelievable fighter and isn't one of the GOATS within the company. 

I think the problem you have with fighters such as Khabib when they are that tough and hold the belt is the division becomes really dull and stagnant at the top of the division because even though yeah you might get some unbelievable number 1 contender fights and great fights within the top 5 ranked but the problem lies where no matter who the number 1 contender is at that time you know they won't have a chance of getting the belt and that just creates a really boring/underwhelming scenario at the top. 

Obviously you have to be an elite level fighter to become a champion within the ufc, but it's so much more fun and exciting when you have champions that do have weaknesses and because of that you get new stars coming through and getting the chance to make that leap to being THE guy in that division. 

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9 hours ago, Carbomb said:

We do this every time for either Jones or Nurm, talking about how "this guy's got his number", etc.

I think there are a few differences between those two at this time. 

Jones has been on the decline for a while. Whether that is because of age, drug testing, or the decline of the Jackson/Wink camp, is open to debate. The main reason why Jones has retained his aura throughout his decline is because he fights in a very weak division. If good, but not great fighters, such as Reyes and Santos can take him to the wire, then there is little reason to believe that a truly great LHW or HW, if one even exists these days, would not beat him soundly at this stage of his career. In some ways, Jones reminds me of Fedor circa 2006-2010, a fighter who tops P4P charts because of past glories and because he's been very fortunate to keep his unbeaten streak alive, not because he's still the best in the game. 

By contrast, Khabib is still one of the very best in the sport. His two previous outings saw him ragdoll elite level fighters in Poirier and McGregor, and he barely lost a round while doing so. Under regular circumstances I wouldn't dream of picking against him. For instance, I was one of the very few fans who never really viewed Ferguson as a Khabib-beater. I always believed that Khabib would likely steamroll Ferguson. However, Gaethje is an elite level fighter in his own right, and perhaps more importantly, is an absolute nightmare style match-up for Khabib on paper. Hence why I believe Khabib will lose on Saturday night. 

So as you can see, I don't pay that much attention to their unbeaten records, or even how I rate their ability at present time. I instead pay more pay attention to the quality of their opponents, and how they match-up against them stylistically. 

I'm also a stubborn cunt who has been on the Gaethje bandwagon for a while, and don't want to be proven incorrect ;)

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This one gets the dick wet.

I'll maintain my stance that it's foolish to bet against Khabib, given his previous, but Gaethje was that good against Ferguson that I've got the itch to do just that. Khabib has hilariously underrated boxing, mainly due to Joe Rogan being shit and refusing to waver from his '"Khabib just got clipped OWWWW" after a light jab' agenda, but you definitely give Gaethje the edge. Gaethje has talked about taking the fight to Khabib and ensuring he's not bullied against the fence, which is something Raging Al managed and, as such, wasn't wrestlefucked. If Gaethje keeps it on the feet, we've got a proper intriguing fight. Gaethje is no slouch at grappling too, of course.

As discussed in this thread, I hope Khabib gets the win for his old man. Proper shite year for him otherwise.

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This has a Kahbib win via decision or late stoppage written all over it. I was as keen as anyone to really buy into the Gaethje hype, especially after he beat Ferguson. But after looking at it, this is a totally different hill of beans, man.

Yeah, Gaethje has looked great in recent fights, but look at his opponents:

Ferguson. Cerrone. Barboza. Vick. 

He's not faced a grappler of any real repute, let alone the definitive best grappler in the sport. If anyone is dumb enough to come in and stand with Gaethje they're taking their lives in their hands.

Khabib won't, though. 

If anything, I see this fight going somewhat similar to the Khabib/McGregor fight, with the only difference being that Gaethje doesn't have the fabled "big left hand" that everyone figured would give McGregor a shot at winning.

If Khabib manages to dump Gaethje on his arse within the first minute or two then it's pretty much game over as far as I'm concerned. If Gaethje can last beyond those initial minutes without hitting the floor it may be interesting for a while, but we all know Khabib's game. He doesn't get discouraged if he fails in the first few takedown attempts. 

He just keeps fucking going until he eventually gets one and then he rolls right over the top of you. And Gaethje has been known to suck wind during fights. 

Can't see anything other than a Khabib win.

And I know, Gaethje has some terrific amateur wrestling pedigree, but he's not used that shit in a real long time. Also, while i usually rate those kinds of credentials highly, I honestly don't think they're effective against Khabib. He's just a different type of animal.

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Its all dependent on whether or not Khabib can take Gaethje down and hold him down. He obviously seems more than capable, ive just always had a feeling that Gaethje will have an ability to scramble out and keep it where he wants it.

I cant find the quotes now but Gaethje spoke previously that his strength as a wrestler was always ability to stop takedowns. You chuck in that he's deadly in the clinch and always does damage there makes this fight real interesting. If Khabib cant get this thing to the mat cleanly and keep it there i genuinely think he's in a bit of trouble.

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1 hour ago, Egg Shen said:

If Khabib cant get this thing to the mat cleanly and keep it there i genuinely think he's in a bit of trouble.

Yeah, but isn't that what we say about all of Khabib's fights? 

The difference between someone like Khabib and a regular wrestler-type is that he doesn't use the normal blueprint of "shoot, fail to get takedown, regroup on the feet, try again" that most grapplers do.

I'm sure Cormier has pointed out that Khabib has a weird, stifling attack that's more along the lines of "shoot, fail to get takedown, keep a hold of you via his iron grip, attempt to drag you down again, fail, still keep a hold of you, finally get you to the mat."

He's exhausting, and has a grip that has been described as vice-like. 

I don't for a second think that Gaethje will be an easy takedown, but I also don't think that will matter. Remember when everyone thought that if Conor could keep Khabib on the feet he'd have a chance to catch him?

Khabib spent a whole round on the feet in that fight, and it was actually him who dropped Conor.

I don't hold Gaethje in the same regard striking-wise as I do Conor. Gaethje relies on a long, grinding striking game that eventually breaks you down. He also tends to fade as the fight goes on, but it works for him because his opponent also fades due to the sheer volume of strikes.

I don't see that working with Khabib. He's going to get Gaethje to the mat. It may not be in the first few minutes, but it's going to happen. And Gaethje may get up the first few times, but Kahbib is going to keep on taking him down, and eventually he'll stop getting up.

I wouldn't be surprised if this fight turns out to be an anti-climax with fans all over social shitting on it. Khabib could very well come in and absolutely dominate for five rounds.

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all that is possible, but its also worth noting that Gaethje is comfortably the best wrestler Khabib has faced in some time, probably ever. 

I can't wait.

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48 minutes ago, Egg Shen said:

all that is possible, but its also worth noting that Gaethje is comfortably the best wrestler Khabib has faced in some time, probably ever.

Based on what though? Have you ever seen Gaethje use his wrestling in MMA? He has some stellar amateur credentials, but he's never really used them offensively, has he? As for takedowns, what you can be sure of is that he's never faced someone like Khabib before. Ever. 

Like I said, could he avoid the takedown early on? Possibly, but he can't just go through the fight struggling against Khabib's incredible chain wrestling. And while he may be the best wrestler Khabib has faced in the UFC, he's certainly not a patch grappling-wise on some of the absolute fucking killers that Khabib is grappling with every single day in training.

Khabib is putting Gaethje on his arse. You can guarantee that. And he may pop up the first time, causing Rogan to lose his shit. But each time he gets dumped down he'll be slower getting back up until he eventually can't do it anymore.

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considering Gaethje has multiple wrestling matches against Jordan Burroughs  widely regarded as the best wrestler in American history id say its safe to say he has some idea of what Khabib could throw at him.

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Still, that's wrestling, not MMA...and whilst your prediction may prove to be true, i think its wrong to discredit Gaethje's wrestling game simply because you havent seen him use it.

We still havent really seen Khabib dominate over 5 either with his wrestling so thats a questions mark going in, only twice Khabib has gone more than 3 rounds, once when he stopped Conor in the 4th and other was when he went the distance with Iaquinta, and Al fended off Khabib's wrestling the later the fight went. 

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I don’t base anything on that Iaquinta fight myself. That fight gets brought up a lot (along with Michael Johnson having him ‘badly hurt’) but people forget the absolute shitshow of a fight week Khabib had leading into that Iaquinta fight. He started that week thinking he was fighting Tony Ferguson, he dropped out and Max Holloway stepped in. Khabib agreed to it. Then Holloway was pulled and the whole chaos with Conor McGregor attacking the bus happened. Meanwhile the UFC continued to search for a replacement and Khabib basically said yes to the whole Lightweight roster before they finally settled on Raging Al. On top of all that he still had to make weight and do all the media shite. Khabib still dominated Iaquinta. It wasn’t his best performance but under the circumstances I’d say he did a hell of a job holding everything together. His head must’ve been all over the place by the time fight night rolled around. 

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