'This is life-changing for me': Justin Gaethje promises he 'will not go out like no b*tch' against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 254
Next weekend's "UFC Fight Island" headliner is arguably the year's most anticipated bout as the thunder-fisted Gaethje takes on the dominant and undefeated Russian champion Nurmagomedov for lightweight supremacy.
It's a huge fight and, ahead of the biggest opportunity of his career, Gaethje says that he isn't going to let the moment pass him by.Also on rt.com 'Gaethje is Khabib’s most dangerous opponent': Former two-weight champ Daniel Cormier breaks down UFC 254 showdown (VIDEO)
"The stakes are huge," Gaethje told TMZ Sports.
"This is life-changing for me. I go out there and get a 'W'?! This is life-changing.
"I am prepared and you can bet your bottom dollar I will not go out like no bi*tch!"
Gaethje has never been a fighter who has had overly-complicated game-plans. Indeed, the NCAA Division I All-American wrestler is one of the few fighters in the UFC's lightweight fold to boast grappling credentials which, on paper at least, could pose problems for Nurmagomedov.
That is, of course, if he employed wrestling-heavy strategies in his fights. Gaethje's UFC career has yet to see him shoot for even one takedown, instead preferring to limit his arsenal to the concussive striking that has earned him the majority of his wins. It seems his world title opportunity will be no different.
"I'm gonna go out there and I'm gonna try and break his face, I promise you," he said.
"Right now, this man is gonna be very hard to beat. With the passing of his father, for people like us that is a driving motivating factor. He's going to be 100% motivated but I do believe that I can beat him.
"If he takes eight clean shots I truly believe that he will understand that he doesn't want to take this damage."Also on rt.com Khabib vs Gaethje 'could take place with fans' as Abu Dhabi considers crowds for UFC 254 showdown on Fight Island
And what might a Justin Gaethje title reign look like, with fighters such as Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, Tony Ferguson and maybe even Michael Chandler jockeying for position?
"When I get this belt, the target will be on my back and I will have no need to call anybody out," he said.
"Honestly it wouldn't matter who I fought after Khabib. This will cement my legacy and that's the only thing I'm here for."