With UFC president Dana White lately saying that the promotion has set a light-weight title battle between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje for October 24 at UFC 255, many people, together with myself, had been shocked given the latest dying of Khabib’s father, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.
Though I might supply my very own hypothesis as I desperately attain for Michael Jordan parallels, the one actual comparability price mentioning is the truth that the dying of Adbulmanap probably will bleed into plenty of the media protection forward of his son’s related sporting future. Moderately than add that incoming boat of unfair intangibles, I’ll as a substitute give attention to essentially the most intriguing facet on this early take a look at the battle: the wrestling exchanges.
Each fighters come from completely different stylistic bases, making use of wrestling in completely alternative ways. Gaethje, who has been wrestling since age 4, embraced the American system of folkstyle wrestling, which he believes might bother Nurmagomedov.
Certain, Nurmagomedov could have a base in freestyle wrestling (as his father was a grasp of sports activities in freestyle beneath the usS.R), however I’m unsure how a lot of the rule set with reference to exposing your again will play into scrambles given each the champion’s fight sambo background and his grappling preferences in MMA.
Studying from his father, who labored with world-class sambo and judo trainers out and in of the navy, Nurmagomedov ultimately made a profitable transition into fight sambo, displaying a flair for aggression, in addition to positional consciousness. And in his MMA profession, Nurmagomedov seemingly has refined the metagame with reference to positional rides and mat returns that encourage opposition to offer their backs (or necks) simply to get out of Dodge.
If Nurmagomedov can compromise Gaethje’s hips and power his favored sequences, then the American’s confidence in his folkstyle scrambles could possibly be a double-edged sword.
On one hand, Gaethje might mud off the Granby rolls that bought him out of sticky conditions with grapplers like Luiz Firmino, as I think that these scrambling choices may have much more play in opposition to Nurmagomedov contemplating the success that Abel Trujillo had. However however, Gaethje’s propensity to tripod up and switch into opposition may play proper into Nurmagomedov’s strengths.
Nonetheless, Gaethje’s preliminary line of protection – from arduous counter strikes to sprawls – will present a stern check for the entries that Nurmagomedov makes use of to push his opponents to the fence.
Hitting all of the checkboxes for a stable sprawl, Gaethje’s hips are hardwired to hit the ground anytime somebody adjustments their degree, as robust underhooks are often in tow. Most of the time, Gaethje will shut down takedown momentum earlier than it will get too deep, using a hoisting overhook as he seems to be to separate his opponent’s grip along with his different arm.
As soon as in a position to face his foes contained in the clinch, Gaethje well frames off of his opposition’s hips whereas utilizing stable head place to assist him steer within the desired course. Regardless of these defensive layers showing to carry up properly all through the early parts of Gaethje’s collegiate matches, the previous All-American wrestler – akin to parts of his combating profession – struggled in opposition to artful opposition the deeper he bought into the competitors.
Though the load cuts could have been a contributing issue for Gaethje in the video above, you’ll be able to see among the potential issues with giving your again or getting out of place in opposition to somebody who is aware of the way to wrap legs and experience backs. Add in the truth that Gaethje himself has admitted that wrestling tends to tire him out, and issues might get dicey the longer issues go.
Finally, the wrestling dynamic between these two could possibly be tough: I see Gaethje having an edge early with first-line defenses and momentum, whereas Khabib ought to have the ability to present his mat wrestling superiority if he can ply his model of strain for extended intervals of time.
You’ll have to attend till battle week for my official prediction, as there’s nonetheless loads to digest earlier than UFC 255 comes round.