After Justin Gaethje’s devastating knockout win over Edson Barboza last Saturday night at UFC on ESPN 2, “The Highlight” claimed that he represented the biggest threat to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s lightweight title.
Gaethje is known for his ultra-violent approach to fighting and is always looking to knock his opponent out where he can. The 30-year-old was an NCAA Division I All-American wrestler back in his college days but so far has barely utilized his wrestling come fight night.
Javier Mendez, Nurmagomedov’s head coach at American Kickboxing Academy, was a guest on Monday’ edition “The MMA Hour” and was asked what threat, if any, Gaethje would provide to the undefeated lightweight:
“Not much, not much, because he ain’t going to be able to stop the takedown,” Mendez said. “None of those guys can. [Nurmagomedov will] take them all down, and if they don’t have much of a ground game, they’re done. The only way it becomes interesting is if Khabib decides to do things. Look back on all his fights, it’s only when he decides to stand with people that it becomes a little bit trickier. I mean, he stood with Conor (McGregor) so he gave Conor a chance, and I’m begging for him, ‘Go back to father’s plan. Go back to father’s plan.’ He screws with me all the time. He did the same with Michael Johnson. I’m telling him, ‘What are you doing? Go back to father’s plan.’ Father’s plan, that’s what I call ‘just wrestle the guy, take him down and wrestle him.’ And he does that all the damn time.”