UFC light-weight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov can take a step nearer to changing into the greatest of all time (GOAT) in his class if he beats Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, the blended martial arts promotion’s chief Dana White has stated.
Russian Nurmagomedov will put his belt and a 28-0 win-loss document on the road on Saturday when he faces American interim champion Gaethje in a unification bout at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island.
“Khabib is looking down the barrel of not only being the greatest to ever do it in this division… if he beats Justin, he’s the number one pound for pound fighter in the world, he’s on his way to GOAT status,” White advised reporters.
“You have all the ingredients for a massive fight. You have a big superstar and a kid coming off an incredible win over a highly respected fighter and many people believe that Justin has the style to beat him.
“You think you know what these guys are going to do, but when they get in there anything is possible.”
The 32-yr-previous Nurmagomedov unified the light-weight title with a 3rd-spherical submission victory over interim champion Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi final September however has not fought for the reason that novel coronavirus outbreak.
Gaethje scored a shock knockout win over Tony Ferguson in May to assert the interim light-weight title at UFC 249. Ferguson had been slated to battle Nurmagomedov however the bout was cancelled on account of journey restrictions imposed as a result of pandemic.