Khabib Nurmagomedov is not only 28-0 as a professional, but he’s rarely lost a round. He’s rarely come close to losing a round he fights like a champion.
He lost the third round in his grudge match with Conor McGregor in 2018, but came back strongly to submit the dual champion in the next round fight.
But on Saturday in Abu Dhabi, Khabib will face possibly his most significant challenge as he defends his lightweight title in the main event of UFC 254 against interim champion Justin Gaethje.
Gaethje will present a challenge to Khabib unlike any he’s ever faced.
Khabib fought McGregor, an elite striker, at UFC 228, but was able to take benefit of McGregor’s lack of a wrestling background to win the fight by submission.
Gaethje is a different style of striker than Conor, but he’s just as dangerous. But Gaethje is also a former collegiate wrestler who has the mixture of skills that has never faced the challenge of this level.
Khabib Nurmagomedov is another level wrestler, though, so taking the title will require a huge leap again for Gaethje. It’s not impossible, but it will be the most difficult challenge he’s faced.