Khabib says he will 'finish' Gaethje in round three of UFC 254 clash

‘I think my fighting IQ is much better’: Khabib Nurmagomedov says he will outsmart and ‘finish’ Justin Gaethje in round three of their UFC 254 clash

  • Khabib puts his lightweight title on the line against Justin Gaethje on October 24
  • He faces Gaethje after the American fighter destroyed Tony Ferguson in May 
  • Undefeated Khabib is confident he will outsmart Gaethje on his way to victory 

UFC star Khabib Nurmagomedov has vowed to ‘outsmart’ and ‘finish’ Justin Gaethje in the third round of their UFC 254 clash.

The 32-year-old is putting his lightweight belt on the line on October 24 on Fight Island.

He is fighting the American who is coming off a hugely impressive win after destroying Tony Ferguson back in May.

Khabib is confident he will beat Justin Gaethje as he feels he has a superior ‘fighting IQ’

Gaethje will fight Khabib after impressively beating Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 in May

‘I don’t think it’s going to be a chess match, you know,’ Khabib said speaking to RT.

‘I think my fighting IQ is much better than Justin Gaethje. He’s just a tough guy.

‘ He likes fighting, he likes blood. He’s like a real warrior. But if we’re talking about fighting IQ, I think my fighting IQ is much better than he has.’

Khabib kept no clues as to what his strategy will be against Gaethje who holds a 22-2 record.

Undefeated Khabib last fought in September 2019 though he was supposed to face Ferguson

The undefeated Russian says he plans to take down the American and out-wrestle him. 

He said: ‘I’m going to try wrestling with him. If he’s going to defend my takedown one time, I’m going to try a second, third. I’m gonna try 100 times. And of course I’m going to box with him, I’m going to kick with him.

‘He’s going to be kickboxing and wrestling, a mix. I’m going to make him tired. 

Gaethje instead fought Ferguson and puts himself into contention for the unification bout

‘This is my goal. And maybe in round number 3, round number 4, my plan is finish him.’

It will be Khabib’s first fight since the death of his father and trainer Aldulmanap in July.

Khabib’s last fight was more than a year ago when he unified the lightweight championship by beating Dustin Poirier in September.

He was set to face Ferguson at UFC 249 before it was cancelled due to the covid-19 pandemic.

Ferguson instead faced Gaethje where he suffered a fifth round TKO defeat, allowing the latter to compete in the forthcoming lightweight unification bout with Khabib.

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