UFC interim lightweight champion Justin Gaethje fights division champ Khabib Nurmagomedov, in the main event of UFC 254 on Saturday. During a recent interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Gaethje talked about greatness, perhaps unsurpassed greatness.
“I have a really, really good belief that’s he’s gonna have a really hard time putting me on the fence,” said Gaethje. “I know I’m going to see his blood. I want him to see his blood and I want to see his reaction.”
“I don’t think he’s as crazy as me, that’s the thing. I think he is crazy and loves competition, but he isn’t quite as crazy as me. He also hasn’t seen his blood as many times, I’m sure. His style of fighting is not something where you are looking for blood or anything like that. I bet that doesn’t even cross his mind that he will see his own blood. That has never been a factor for him.”
“With my family, with my life, with everything, there’s different kinds of wealth. With a win here, I have a really good opportunity – it wouldn’t necessarily be generational wealth, but it would be a generation worth of wealth. So that’s something. Whether I win or lose, I’m gonna have my mom call her boss and tell her she’s retiring. . .
“It’s f***ing huge, man. There’s a certain amount of money I think one needs to attain in order to have the opportunity to grow exponentially, financially. I think a win over Khabib gives me that.”
“Legacy. That’s why I’m most excited for this opportunity. I’ve watched this sport for a long time … I truly think that if I can beat Khabib and then beat Conor, I will have cemented something that is unmatched. Anderson Silva, I wouldn’t have matched his title reign. That title reign is something unmatched . . . but in a different regard, it will be much bigger. Khabib is the number one pound-for-pound and you have to put it in context of me. Coming off those two losses, everyone was saying ‘He’s done.’ The fact that, the way I was fighting, we all loved it but there was absolutely not chance I was ever gonna fight for a world title. It will be a legacy that I came to cement.”