Nurmagomedov to face Gaethje on his return

Sports | 30 Jul 2020

Undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has agreed to face interim champ Justin Gaethje on October 24.

Russia's Nurmagomedov (28-0) holds the longest active unbeaten streak in mixed martial arts, and became the UFC's lightweight champion in April 2018 by defeating Al Iaquinta for the vacant belt. He has defended his title just twice, but he defeated interim lightweight champ Dustin Poirier by submission last September in his most recent fight.

Nurmagomedov has been in mourning this month after the death of his father, Abdulmanap, a prominent MMA figure and wrestler in Dagestan, from complications of Covid-19 and heart surgery.

Gaethje (22-2) presents a stark challenge in style for Nurmagomedov, a world-class wrestler and grappler who has been extraordinarily successful on the ground.

Gaethje is an exceptional striker who proved his world-class ability in May with a fifth-round stoppage of Tony Ferguson.

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