UnderGround Forums Breaking Down Justin v. Khabib

11 days ago
2/17/03
Posts: 16622
Calhoon - 

I like what you say about the lateral movement. If I were Justin I would not follow Khabib around the cage. Either blitz him with a quick combo that ends with a power strike or a takedown such as 1,2,1,shoot or 1,2, 3, then circle out or make Khabib follow him so he can plant and attack when the opportunity is there.

 

I kinda like Justin's mindset as in bring the pain, go to war etc. But the mindset of defensive wrestling is going to hurt him imo. I would rather see a mindset of I am going to attack. Then he needs to go in there and attack, at first with offensive wrestling imo and then let that open up the striking opportunities. Khabib stays offensive because he carries this I am going to attack mindset but he fights smart. He needs to fight like Khabib imo.

 

I won't comment on what I would like to see once he gets to the ground because I have no idea what he is capable of. Khabib on top is a nightmare and his bottom game is great too. Can Justin spend time in his guard and do a little damage? I don't know the answer to that. Can Justin stand back up if he is on top? He should be able to. If he stays down though Khabib does have submissions and setups though so be careful. 


The main reason why I oppose any offensive wrestling from Justin beyond low commitment knee taps is 1) I don't think Khabib is afraid of being on his back against Justin, so I don't think it'll mess up Khabib's rhythm too bad and 2) I don't think being engaged in full fledged grappling is good for Justin.

Edited: 11 days ago
7/30/03
Posts: 9314
wiggum -
Calhoon - 

I like what you say about the lateral movement. If I were Justin I would not follow Khabib around the cage. Either blitz him with a quick combo that ends with a power strike or a takedown such as 1,2,1,shoot or 1,2, 3, then circle out or make Khabib follow him so he can plant and attack when the opportunity is there.

 

I kinda like Justin's mindset as in bring the pain, go to war etc. But the mindset of defensive wrestling is going to hurt him imo. I would rather see a mindset of I am going to attack. Then he needs to go in there and attack, at first with offensive wrestling imo and then let that open up the striking opportunities. Khabib stays offensive because he carries this I am going to attack mindset but he fights smart. He needs to fight like Khabib imo.

 

I won't comment on what I would like to see once he gets to the ground because I have no idea what he is capable of. Khabib on top is a nightmare and his bottom game is great too. Can Justin spend time in his guard and do a little damage? I don't know the answer to that. Can Justin stand back up if he is on top? He should be able to. If he stays down though Khabib does have submissions and setups though so be careful. 


The main reason why I oppose any offensive wrestling from Justin beyond low commitment knee taps is 1) I don't think Khabib is afraid of being on his back against Justin, so I don't think it'll mess up Khabib's rhythm too bad and 2) I don't think being engaged in full fledged grappling is good for Justin.

Understandable, ideally Justin would feel just as comfortable being on top as Khabib does being on his back.

 

Justin will still need to get Khabib into range. He is not a long range striker. I still say he needs to do as you have said and circle, I would even go as far to say circle and create distance also and make Khabib come into his range. I hear analysts saying he needs to take the center and stay there. I think that is wrong he needs to back away and get Khabib chasing AND THEN CIRCLE BACK TO THE CENTER. That is a big difference. The point is forcing Khabib into committing to coming into his range, even if it becomes a boring fight.

 

Another way to switch it up every now and then is to blitz. Khabib has a tendency to retreat straight back when he is blitzed with hands high and chin high. That is where the takedowns come in, get him to drop the hands to defend the takedowns and the strike Justin will be looking for will be a lot easier to land. 

 

That is my thinking. If I were his coach I would like him to think offense and not defense and to mix it up, not just offensive striking. But offense in a smart way that still allows for the necessary defense. 

Edited: 11 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 48774

i think Khabib is a top guy and not as comfortable if u can put him and keep him on his back.I do think Khabib can put Justin on his back Whoever is on top will have big advantaage.Over all id favor Khabib

Edited: 11 days ago
7/30/03
Posts: 9315
Winston Wolf -

i think Khabib is a top guy and not as comfortable if u can put him and keep him on his back.I do think Khabib can out Justin on his back Whoever is on top will have big advantaage.Over all id favor Khabib

Khabib has shown to be very comfortable being on his back but that does not mean that he will not try to prevent being put on his back and that is what Justin needs to do imo. Make him defend against both strikes and takedowns and not just with distance, make him bring the fight to you first or blitz. 

11 days ago
2/17/03
Posts: 16626
Calhoon - 
Winston Wolf -

i think Khabib is a top guy and not as comfortable if u can put him and keep him on his back.I do think Khabib can out Justin on his back Whoever is on top will have big advantaage.Over all id favor Khabib

Khabib has shown to be very comfortable being on his back but that does not mean that he will not try to prevent being put on his back and that is what Justin needs to do imo. Make him defend against both strikes and takedowns and not just with distance, make him bring the fight to you first or blitz. 


Yeah.

WW: Have you watched the fight with Trujillo? He is put on his back then and looked excellent there.

Edited: 11 days ago
7/30/03
Posts: 9316
wiggum -
Calhoon - 
Winston Wolf -

i think Khabib is a top guy and not as comfortable if u can put him and keep him on his back.I do think Khabib can out Justin on his back Whoever is on top will have big advantaage.Over all id favor Khabib

Khabib has shown to be very comfortable being on his back but that does not mean that he will not try to prevent being put on his back and that is what Justin needs to do imo. Make him defend against both strikes and takedowns and not just with distance, make him bring the fight to you first or blitz. 


Yeah.

WW: Have you watched the fight with Trujillo? He is put on his back then and looked excellent there.

Yeah, Khabib is great on the ground everywhere. If Justin knows basic stalling though Khabib likes to attack and he can back out of the guard when Khabib does. He does need to try to beat Khabib's guard, just score and get back up, make Khabib have two problems to deal with in the stand up dept. And the takedowns would look good to the judges eyes for sure. 

11 days ago
7/30/03
Posts: 9317

Sorry, I can't read. I now see you were asking if WW has seen the fight. 

11 days ago
2/17/03
Posts: 16629
Calhoon - 
wiggum -
Calhoon - 
Winston Wolf -

i think Khabib is a top guy and not as comfortable if u can put him and keep him on his back.I do think Khabib can out Justin on his back Whoever is on top will have big advantaage.Over all id favor Khabib

Khabib has shown to be very comfortable being on his back but that does not mean that he will not try to prevent being put on his back and that is what Justin needs to do imo. Make him defend against both strikes and takedowns and not just with distance, make him bring the fight to you first or blitz. 


Yeah.

WW: Have you watched the fight with Trujillo? He is put on his back then and looked excellent there.

Yeah, Khabib is great on the ground everywhere. If Justin knows basic stalling though Khabib likes to attack and he can back out of the guard when Khabib does. He does need to try to beat Khabib's guard, just score and get back up, make Khabib have two problems to deal with in the stand up dept. And the takedowns would look good to the judges eyes for sure. 


Good point.

Edited: 10 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 48776
wiggum -
Calhoon - 
Winston Wolf -

i think Khabib is a top guy and not as comfortable if u can put him and keep him on his back.I do think Khabib can out Justin on his back Whoever is on top will have big advantaage.Over all id favor Khabib

Khabib has shown to be very comfortable being on his back but that does not mean that he will not try to prevent being put on his back and that is what Justin needs to do imo. Make him defend against both strikes and takedowns and not just with distance, make him bring the fight to you first or blitz. 


Yeah.

WW: Have you watched the fight with Trujillo? He is put on his back then and looked excellent there.

i dont recall that fight but most of his fights he gets top control and keeps it there.Im sure hes good on bottem too /.My plan for Justin is to keep it standing but if theres a clinch takedown to top position.The only fighter Ive seen who is as good on the top position and Khabib would be GSP.

9 days ago
2/17/03
Posts: 16649
Winston Wolf - 
wiggum -
Calhoon - 
Winston Wolf -

i think Khabib is a top guy and not as comfortable if u can put him and keep him on his back.I do think Khabib can out Justin on his back Whoever is on top will have big advantaage.Over all id favor Khabib

Khabib has shown to be very comfortable being on his back but that does not mean that he will not try to prevent being put on his back and that is what Justin needs to do imo. Make him defend against both strikes and takedowns and not just with distance, make him bring the fight to you first or blitz. 


Yeah.

WW: Have you watched the fight with Trujillo? He is put on his back then and looked excellent there.

i dont recall that fight but most of his fights he gets top control and keeps it there.Im sure hes good on bottem too /.My plan for Justin is to keep it standing but if theres a clinch takedown to top position.The only fighter Ive seen who is as good on the top position and Khabib would be GSP.


I agree. I think the three best top players ever are early Jones, Khabib, and GSP. I think Khabib is probably the best.

Khabib's guard looked great the few times we've seen it.

9 days ago
2/17/03
Posts: 16650

When I watched the embedded for Dustin v. Khabib, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach that Dustin was going to get mauled. Mike Brown was taking him down and they didn't look to have a great anti-wrestling gameplan. You never really know what's going on based on what Embedded shows you, but, sure enough, Dustin was not prepared for what Khabib was going to give him. (Granted, I don't know if any strategy would have helped him. But, I think going for switches was a really bad call. It was a bad call when Condit tried it against GSP, too).

Watching the Embedded here, it looks like Cherrington and Gaethje have the right approach. If what we're seeing at 1:19 is indicative of the right gameplan for Khabib. It would have helped Connor a ton in the first round of their fight. Once you break Khabib's posture, stuff, separate, disengage.

Planning it is one thing. Doing it is another. So, I'm still predicting a Khabib mauling. But, if this is Justin's approach, it's a good one, IMO.

9 days ago
2/17/03
Posts: 16658

Bumping this thread. Hope more quality posters can weigh in!

9 days ago
11/20/09
Posts: 46654
wiggum - Breaking Down Khabib v. Justin

There’s a scene in Michael Mann’s Ali. Ali and his crew are waiting for the Frazier rematch. One day, they are watching a fight, and they see the champ get throttled by Foreman. They realize that Ali’s next big challenge won’t be Frazier; it’ll be George—a different, but equally scary challenge. I feel like that’s the best parallel for Gaethje-Khabib.

How will it play out? By my measure, Gaethje is the best wrestler Khabib has ever fought and the second best striker. That makes him a uniquely difficult match up. Justin’s greatest weapons against Khabib are his TDD, his power, and his excellent lateral footwork. This isn’t Raging Al. Khabib can’t pepper Justin with sloppy jabs if the takedown fails.

One other factor: Unlike RDA, Justin doesn't square up his hips too much when he throws a cross. This is one big reason why RDA has been to vulnerable to good wrestlers.

What are the big questions? To me, there are a few:

(1) What does Justin look like on bottom? Does he adopt a defensive guard ala Anderson Silva or even Conor? That might be the safest option. Does he use his folk style hopes to get back to his feet ala RDA? Great, if it works. But, Khabib has become so much more dangerous on top since the RDA fight and Justin risks the fight looking like Khabib/Porrier if he opens up from guard too much.

(2) What role does leg kicks play? I’ll probably not find much support not this, but I think Justin should utilize leg kicks in the fight. Khabib does not have a power double. His takedowns are best from the clinch. Justin can throw quick, low leg kicks without too much risk. Does he?

(3) How good is Khabib’s chin? We’ve seen him rocked a few times. What happens if Justin puts some real damage on him?

(4) Does Justin have the cardio to include even more lateral movement than he did in the Tony fight? IMO, that is his best method to keep Khabib off him.

At the end of the day, Khabib takes great fighters down. His top game gets more devastating every fight. The most likely option is that Justin gets Porriered.

But, Justin just destroyed Tony Ferguson. I am not counting that guy out for one second.

Great breakdown

 

The important variables

Khabib's highly underrated striking defense vs Justin's efficient striking offense

 

Khabib's offensive wrestling vs Justin's defensive wrestling. How much energy will Khabib have to use to take Justin down?  How long can Khabib keep Justin down?

 

The variable-Khabib's locked hands when wrestling.  Locked hands is illegal in wrestling but not in mma.  Khabib has utilized locked hands when clinching/taking down opponents for years.  How will Justin do when trying to defend from the clinch but Khabib's hands are locked?

8 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 770

Great thread Wiggum.

Having been around high level Wrestlers turned MMA fighters, this is what I have noticed in almost every single one of them -- they fall in love with the striking game and seem to lose interest in what brought them to the game, their extremely high level of Wrestling. This has happened to Randy Couture, Vladimir Matyushenko, Frank Trigg, Matt Hughes in the past, and we have seen it in Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier presently. This can also be said of Justin Gaethje, because he has rarely used any of his Wrestling in MMA, if at all. Fortunately, Khabib Nurmamogedov still is in love with his Wrestling and funnels everything into using it to compete and compete well in MMA.

This is just my opinion, but Gaethje poses a bigger threat with his stand up than with his of Wrestling. From what little that has been seen of him in a MMA setting and by his own admission, he is a defensive Wrestler. The conventional wisdom is that superior offensive Wrestlers defeats defensive Wrestlers as it takes more energy to defend being taken down than initiating the take down attack. Gaethje has admitted that Wrestling tires him out. Khabib is a superior chain Wrestler. He is not a one trick pony. He will attack, attack, attack off of one entry. We haven't seen Khabib lose a scramble. From a Wrestling stand point, Khabib wins the Wrestling department by a much bigger margin than people think.

Justin Gaethje has very good stand up attacks in punches and kicks. He has learned from his Poirier fight to be patient with his striking attacks and don't get sucked into wild brawling. He is a superior striker to Khabib, and stands a very good chance if he can keep it on the feet.

To me this is an interesting stand up fighter vs a grappling fighter. If Khabib gets trapped into a stand up brawl, most likely his chances of losing increase. However, if Gaethje cannot defend the take down, it'l be a very long night for him.

8 days ago
11/20/09
Posts: 46710

Gaethje prefers stand up over wrestling because he says that wresting in mma takes a lot more energy than striking, plus striking pleases the fans and gets him bonuses.

 

So, if Gaethje can stuff enough take downs to where Justin finds himself in an advantage in cardio, he can put the pressure on Khabib which is something none of Khabib's opponents do to him(pressure him). Conversely, Justin's opponents don't really pressure him either.  They might get into a trade war with Justin, but it's hard to take center mat against both Khabib and Justin.  That will be very interesting to see who establishes the octagon control first. 

8 days ago
1/12/05
Posts: 63957
I can't help but think that it's going to look just like the Porier fight. Khabib's chain wrestling and pressure is exhausting. He's not going to be right there standing at range for Justin, he's going to be clinching and attempting TDs and Justin's going to lose a lot of steam defending them.

Howard Liu nailed it: Khabib is using his bread and butter skillset against Justin's newly acquired skillset. Advantage Khabib.
8 days ago
2/17/03
Posts: 16669
BringBackHeadbutts - 
wiggum - Breaking Down Khabib v. Justin

There’s a scene in Michael Mann’s Ali. Ali and his crew are waiting for the Frazier rematch. One day, they are watching a fight, and they see the champ get throttled by Foreman. They realize that Ali’s next big challenge won’t be Frazier; it’ll be George—a different, but equally scary challenge. I feel like that’s the best parallel for Gaethje-Khabib.

How will it play out? By my measure, Gaethje is the best wrestler Khabib has ever fought and the second best striker. That makes him a uniquely difficult match up. Justin’s greatest weapons against Khabib are his TDD, his power, and his excellent lateral footwork. This isn’t Raging Al. Khabib can’t pepper Justin with sloppy jabs if the takedown fails.

One other factor: Unlike RDA, Justin doesn't square up his hips too much when he throws a cross. This is one big reason why RDA has been to vulnerable to good wrestlers.

What are the big questions? To me, there are a few:

(1) What does Justin look like on bottom? Does he adopt a defensive guard ala Anderson Silva or even Conor? That might be the safest option. Does he use his folk style hopes to get back to his feet ala RDA? Great, if it works. But, Khabib has become so much more dangerous on top since the RDA fight and Justin risks the fight looking like Khabib/Porrier if he opens up from guard too much.

(2) What role does leg kicks play? I’ll probably not find much support not this, but I think Justin should utilize leg kicks in the fight. Khabib does not have a power double. His takedowns are best from the clinch. Justin can throw quick, low leg kicks without too much risk. Does he?

(3) How good is Khabib’s chin? We’ve seen him rocked a few times. What happens if Justin puts some real damage on him?

(4) Does Justin have the cardio to include even more lateral movement than he did in the Tony fight? IMO, that is his best method to keep Khabib off him.

At the end of the day, Khabib takes great fighters down. His top game gets more devastating every fight. The most likely option is that Justin gets Porriered.

But, Justin just destroyed Tony Ferguson. I am not counting that guy out for one second.

Great breakdown

 

The important variables

Khabib's highly underrated striking defense vs Justin's efficient striking offense

 

Khabib's offensive wrestling vs Justin's defensive wrestling. How much energy will Khabib have to use to take Justin down?  How long can Khabib keep Justin down?

 

The variable-Khabib's locked hands when wrestling.  Locked hands is illegal in wrestling but not in mma.  Khabib has utilized locked hands when clinching/taking down opponents for years.  How will Justin do when trying to defend from the clinch but Khabib's hands are locked?


Thanks.

I'm especially curious to see if Justin can create a scramble IMMEDIATELY AFTER BEING TAKEN DOWN. That will dictate a lot. Abel and RDA did this, but those fights were a long time ago.

I still disagree with your view on locked hands. First, locked hands is a huge component of free and greco roman wrestling. Second, locked hands is LEGAL is all wrestling when you're off the mat. Justin has been dealing with this his whole life.

Locked hands is only illegal in folk wrestling ON THE MAT and not in a pinning position.

Now, that doesn't mean he will be able to get out. But, his failure won't be because he's inexperienced with locked hands.

8 days ago
2/17/03
Posts: 16670
Howard Liu - 

Great thread Wiggum.

Having been around high level Wrestlers turned MMA fighters, this is what I have noticed in almost every single one of them -- they fall in love with the striking game and seem to lose interest in what brought them to the game, their extremely high level of Wrestling. This has happened to Randy Couture, Vladimir Matyushenko, Frank Trigg, Matt Hughes in the past, and we have seen it in Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier presently. This can also be said of Justin Gaethje, because he has rarely used any of his Wrestling in MMA, if at all. Fortunately, Khabib Nurmamogedov still is in love with his Wrestling and funnels everything into using it to compete and compete well in MMA.

This is just my opinion, but Gaethje poses a bigger threat with his stand up than with his of Wrestling. From what little that has been seen of him in a MMA setting and by his own admission, he is a defensive Wrestler. The conventional wisdom is that superior offensive Wrestlers defeats defensive Wrestlers as it takes more energy to defend being taken down than initiating the take down attack. Gaethje has admitted that Wrestling tires him out. Khabib is a superior chain Wrestler. He is not a one trick pony. He will attack, attack, attack off of one entry. We haven't seen Khabib lose a scramble. From a Wrestling stand point, Khabib wins the Wrestling department by a much bigger margin than people think.

Justin Gaethje has very good stand up attacks in punches and kicks. He has learned from his Poirier fight to be patient with his striking attacks and don't get sucked into wild brawling. He is a superior striker to Khabib, and stands a very good chance if he can keep it on the feet.

To me this is an interesting stand up fighter vs a grappling fighter. If Khabib gets trapped into a stand up brawl, most likely his chances of losing increase. However, if Gaethje cannot defend the take down, it'l be a very long night for him.


Great post.

8 days ago
2/17/03
Posts: 16671
Bobby Lupo - I can't help but think that it's going to look just like the Porier fight. Khabib's chain wrestling and pressure is exhausting. He's not going to be right there standing at range for Justin, he's going to be clinching and attempting TDs and Justin's going to lose a lot of steam defending them.

Howard Liu nailed it: Khabib is using his bread and butter skillset against Justin's newly acquired skillset. Advantage Khabib.

Glad to see you on here, Lupes.

I can see this fight going in a lot of directions. But, if I had to make a prediction, I'd also bet on the fight looking like the Dustin fight.

8 days ago
2/17/03
Posts: 16675



At around 8:15, Luke gets at one weapon Justin has the might help. When Khabib gets in trouble, he often retreats hard and almost runs away to get back to the center. He needs to keep those hands up because Justin has a nasty hook against retreating fighters. We could see a repeat of Justin/Edson or Stipe/DC.

8 days ago
2/17/03
Posts: 16676

^^Calhoon, Luke also talks about the knee-tap to punch on the break combo that Justin does use.

Edited: 8 days ago
7/30/03
Posts: 9348
wiggum - ^^Calhoon, Luke also talks about the knee-tap to punch on the break combo that Justin does use.

I liked it. It seems like a very good analysis to me.

 

I still prefer a strong blast double for multiple reasons but as you said if he feels more confident in the knee tap for a few reasons then that is best for him. The important thing is the dual threat aspect. 

8 days ago
2/17/03
Posts: 16677

I think Luke Thomas has given the single best breakdown of the fight that I've seen. Brings up a lot of weapons that Justin has.

8 days ago
7/30/03
Posts: 9349
wiggum -

I think Luke Thomas has given the single best breakdown of the fight that I've seen. Brings up a lot of weapons that Justin has.

Agreed, I think it was well thought out and thorough. 

8 days ago
7/30/03
Posts: 9350

Wiggum, did you see the Danaher Askren discussion?

 

 

I swear I had not seen it prior to my opinion and my opinion is my original thoughts but it was great to see that Danaher had like minded thinking.