‘The Eagle’ is set to go up against Justin Gaethje later in the year, and he is currently an undefeated fighter at 28-0 with 18 finishes. After the recent passing of his father, who was his trainer also, some questioned if he would ever fight again. He came out quickly and dispelled that rumor and immediately accepted the fight against Justin. What will this next fight mean for Khabib?
If he loses, Justin is the new champion of the lightweight division and there is a new sheriff in town. He has been openly stating for a while that he has the formula to beat Khabib and that is something that confuses me. How can you have the formula for a man who has barely lost any rounds, let alone fights?
This is similar to a lot of boxers thinking they had the blueprint to beating Floyd Mayweather, which started with Oscar De La Hoya, and yet here he is today still undefeated. However, this one feels a little different because Khabib will have a different approach to this fight without his dad training him.
If Khabib wins, where does he go from here? He has stated that he wants to beat Georges St Pierre and then walk off into the sunset with a perfect record and undisputedly being the best 155 pounder ever. This is not a fight I like to see him focused on right now, especially with the way that Gaethje dismantled Tony Ferguson, you CANNOT afford to overlook him.
He has also stated that Conor McGregor has to work his way back up for a title fight, but this is not something that Dana White is going to let happen. If Khabib calls for Conor again, I will promise you that fight gets made again, even though Conor has not fought at 155 since last losing to Khabib.
With all of this being said, it will be a different training camp than he’s ever had, different feeling to fight week, and everything will just be new to him as he is still grieving the loss of his father. I hope this does not affect him the way that I think it will, because I think Gaethje has the punching power to put Khabib out if he slips up for a split second.
Also, since he is already thinking of his ‘swan song’ type of walk off win against GSP, is it safe to say Khabib may not have his heart in it anymore? Is he great enough to not be 100% dedicated and still beat Justin? Does this mean that we will never see him square off with Tony Ferguson? These are questions we do not have the answer to right now, but we will be waiting patiently for them to be revealed.