UFC

Gaethje guarantees Khabib fight will be worth the hype

By Sports Desk October 21, 2020

Justin Gaethje and Dana White are each expecting Saturday's lightweight title fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov to be a classic.

Gaethje defeated Tony Ferguson in May to earn the interim title and a shot at champion Khabib at UFC 254.

Excitement is building ahead of the bout this weekend, but neither Gaethje nor the UFC president are concerned about letting fans down.

When White was asked if he could offer any guarantees the fight would live up to the considerable hype, he gestured towards Gaethje before replying: "Tell me the last fight he was in that sucked."

The fighter then interrupted and added: "I guarantee you."

Assessing the magnitude of the bout, White said: "Khabib is one of the biggest stars in all of sports - not just UFC. The reason this fight is so big is because a lot of people believe this kid has the style to beat him.

"You have all the ingredients for a massive fight: a big superstar and a kid who's coming after a win over a highly respected fighter.

"These come together once in a while. It's not like these two need to scream at each other and all this kind of stuff.

"People know who both of these guys are, they know what they're both capable of, and that's why this fight is so big.

"On Monday and Tuesday, this was tracking as the biggest fight we've ever done."

Gaethje has no issue with Khabib being the favourite and revealed he has told himself he will lose as motivation.

"I know he's confident in what he does. He's done it 28 times," Gaethje said. "I expect him to believe that's what's going to happen.

"I've been telling myself that's what's going to happen, as a matter of fact. That's what drives me every single day.

"I'm a performer, I always show up under the lights, that's what I do. I've been doing this as long as he has."

He added: "I've been telling myself that's going to happen and I can't wait to surprise myself again."

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