Khabib Nurmagomedov defends the UFC lightweight title against Justin Gaethje in the main event of UFC 254 on 24th October 2020. This title fight will be the 29th fight of Nurmagomedov’s pro-MMA career.
However, this fight will be a lot different from any other fights in the illustrious career of Khabib Nurmagomedov. This time the lightweight champion will not have his head coach and father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov in his corner.
Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov could never get a US visa to corner his son in his UFC run except for UFC 242. The proud father cornered the lightweight GOAT for his title defense against Dustin Poirier. The pure joy in the face of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov after Khabib submitted Poirier is hard to forget. Unfortunately, he passed away due to COVID-19 before Khabib’s title defense at UFC 254.
However, Khabib Nurmaomedov has not forgotten his father and his teachings as he is determined to implement his “Father’s Plan” against Justin Gaethje. In the UFC countdown series, Khabib Nurmagomedov opened up on his father’s demise and stated:
“Every day I think about him. Not only for me a lot of guys. Because he takes care of a lot of people in Dagestan. Xavier Mendez is right now my head coach.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov reveals his gameplan for UFC 254
The absence of Abdulmanap will not affect the gameplan of Khabib Nurmagomedov. The lightweight champion is looking to do the exact same thing that he has done with all his past opponents.
“Father plan. back to father plan.You have to wrestle him. He always likes my father plan. Even the next fight I’m going to work with my father’s plan versus Justin Gaethje. Nothing changes.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov is aiming to maul Justin Gaethje. And there is a huge possibility that he will end up doing that. Justin Gaethje might have a better chance than any other lightweights in the UFC to beat the champion. However, Nurmagomedov has more ways of finishing the fights than Gaethje does.
Justin Gaethje has to come up with a master plan which he is capable of thanks to the brilliant brain of Trevor Wittman behind him. But, executing that gameplan when Khabib is relentlessly shooting for takedowns is a whole another game. That apart, Khabib’s striking is extremely effective. And assuming that Gaethje will have a massive upper hand over Khabib in the striking is not fair.
Tp sum up the story in short, Justin Gaethje will have his hands full on October 24th.