Justin Gaethje is more likely than ever to shoot for his first UFC takedown against Rafael Fiziev at UFC 286
Justin Gaethje, an NCAA Division I wrestler, may finally land the first elusive takedown of his UFC career at UFC 286. Gaethje is almost obsessed with powerful technical fights, but in Saturday’s fight, he finds himself up against titled striker Rafael Fiziev. co-main event. Fiziev’s weapons may be enough to provoke a mythical fight with Gaethje at the O2 Arena in London.
Gaethje has fought 10 fights in the UFC without ever landing a takedown. This bold strategy saw him go 6-4 against some of the best fighters in the world, but it also earned him an average of one post-fight bonus per fight and two CBS Sports Fight of the Year honors. Gaethje was asked how likely he is to land a takedown on a scale of one to 10 against Fiziev. Gaethje said “six” and noted that this is “probably” more than he would have given in past fights.
“I think that’s always something you have to make them think about,” Gaethje told CBS Sports. “So I’ll think about it.
“Obviously it’s always a risk assessment. Until I got knocked out by Eddie Alvarez and the same with [Dustin] Poirier, I thought I had more success in this area. So I didn’t necessarily find it necessary to do that take. Against Khabib [Nurmagomedov] And [Charles] Oliveira, I didn’t want to throw it on the ground because they’ve been doing jiu-jitsu all their lives and I’m a wrestler.”
Read the full interview with Justin Gaethje below.
Gaethje is usually a marauder in a fight. It is a bloodthirsty, almost sinister presence that few can match. Fiziev is a rare fighter who can rival Gaethje in pre-fight violence.
“I can’t wait to go and see him in a cage, smell the blood, smell his heart, and then eat his heart,” Fiziev said. said in the first issue of the UFC 286 Embedded vlog series.
Gati rejected Fiziev’s tone, accusing the young fighter of posturing to get attention.
“For someone who has never done this, it sounds crazy, but we have all been there,” Gaethje said. “I was just as willing to say outlandish things when I was in his position, trying to get the fights we need, trying to get the attention he’s trying to get, fighting me, trying to build myself up for the fights you have. to pump yourself up for that fight. I think the language barrier is a factor in this quote, but it’s just as intense as it is.”
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