Daniel Cormier wouldn’t be surprised if Justin Gaethje proves to be a tough out for Khabib Nurmagomedov.
On Oct. 24, Nurmagomedov and Gaethje will do battle in a lightweight title unification bout. “The Eagle” is the UFC lightweight champion, while Gaethje holds the interim 155-pound gold. The bout will serve as the UFC 254 main event.
Cormier Feels Gaethje Will Be Khabib’s Toughest Opposition
Cormier spoke to Yahoo! Sports and said he believes his teammate is in for quite the test against Gaethje,
“I think he’s going to fight his toughest opponent,” Cormier told Yahoo Sports. “I think the vast majority of the world feels that this is the toughest guy for him at 155 [pounds]. I think he’ll be OK. His ability to train and prepare for this and continue to work toward the goal that him and his father had together will allow him to maybe come to terms with everything that’s happening around him.
“Sometimes you need distractions and you need motivations in different forms. I think Khabib will use [his father’s death] as motivation. He’s a professional. He’s a pro’s pro and he’s going to prepare himself to the best of his ability.”
Cormier has admitted that he’s surprised Nurmagomedov is returning as soon as he is. The lightweight ruler has been mourning the loss of his father, Abdulmanap. Before the fight announcement, “DC” wondered if Khabib would ever compete again.
Nurmagomedov hasn’t competed since Sept. 2019. He submitted Dustin Poirier in the third round for his second successful lightweight title defense. “The Eagle” was set to meet Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 but the UFC moved on to “El Cucuy” vs. Gaethje once the coronavirus pandemic reared its ugly head.