Justin Gaethje vows to make rival Khabib Nurmagomedov BLEED at UFC 254 as pair launch verbal sparring ahead of fight

JUSTIN GAETHJE has vowed to make Khabib Nurmagomedov see blood in their UFC 254 headliner.

Gaethje – who won the interim belt in May – faces unbeaten Khabib in a lightweight unification on Fight Island.


The American goes into the challenge as underdog – but plans to take the fight to Nurmagomedov like never before.

Gaethje, 31, told ESPN: “I know I’m going to see his blood. I want him to see his blood and I want to see his reaction.

"He isn’t 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 many times, I’m sure. His style of fighting is not something where you are looking for blood.

"I bet that doesn’t even cross his mind that he will see his own blood. That has never been a factor for him.”

Gaethje put himself in line to challenge Nurmagomedov after the 31-year-old Russian was unable to fight Tony Ferguson at UFC 249.

After upsetting Ferguson, 36, he leapfrogged McGregor – who was targeting a rematch against Khabib – in the title picture.

As a result in June, The Notorious announced his third retirement in four years.

But Gaethje is hoping McGregor, 32, has a change of heart so he can fulfil his 'legacy' by challenging the division's biggest stars.

He explained: “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.” 

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