Following the unfortunate death and sudden of Khabib Nurmagomedov's father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, there was some uncertainty as to whether or not we'd ever see the UFC Lightweight Champion compete in the octagon ever again recently. Abdulmanap was EVERYTHING to Khabib - not only a father, but his coach and mentor in mixed martial arts as well.
I don't think anybody would've faulted Khabib for hanging up the gloves if he wanted to, considering the tragedy he and his family suffered this year, but that won't be the case after all. Khabib has decided that he's going to keep on fighting to honor his father's legacy, and as of today - he's got a championship defense booked! Nurmagomedov will take be taking on Interim Lightweight Champ Justin Gaethje on October 24th, unifying the 155lb titles in what many believe will be the toughest fight of his career.
Gaethje is a psychotic, unpredictable brawler who has really honed in on the technical side of his craft lately (never moreso than in his recent Tony Ferguson fight) and he's got the wrestling experience to give Khabib reeeaaaal problems in dragging him down to the canvas. More than Conor, Poirier, or any of Khabib's other former opponents. I think it's going to be a VERY close fight, and I could actually see a world in which Gaethje beats Khabib, believe it or not! If Khabib can't secure a takedown and has to stand with Justin it'll be a long night for the champ.
That being said, I'm not sure I'd pick against Khabib again at this point, cause then I'd feel pretty foolish if he then just went in there and grapplefucked Gaethje into another dimension. Cause like....duh.
Let me know what you think if gonna go down in this one down below!