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UFC 254’s Justin Gaethje says unlike Tony Ferguson, Khabib doesn’t love taking damage

Who — other than Tony Ferguson, apparently — does?

MMA: UFC 242- Nurmagomedov vs Poirier Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) interim Lightweight champion Justin Gaethje is one of the hardest-hitting fighters in any division. If he doesn’t knockout an opponent with one solid punch (example here), he has no problem inflicting as much pain and damage as possible for the remainder of a fight.

That was the case during his title fight against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 this past May, as “Highlight” tagged “El Cucuy” with one hard shot after another, ultimately forcing referee Herb Dean to put an end to the punishment in the fifth and final round.

While credit has to be given to Ferguson for being able to take such punishment, some think he won’t ever truly recover from taking the non-stop shots. Gaethje, meanwhile, gives props to Ferguson for absorbing as much as he did, saying that Tony is the type of guy who welcomes that type of fight.

It’s something Gaethje feels Khabib is not a fan of.

“I create damage,” Gaethje said during a recent interview with Morning Kombat. “If I barely miss and barely clip you, it’s damage. Damage is done. In a 25-minute fight I will create damage one way or another. The thing about Tony (Ferguson) is that Tony loves that. One thing I am sure about Khabib is that he does not love that.”

According to the interim 155-pound champion, Khabib also doesn't like the sight of his own blood, though “The Eagle” has yet to bleed or take much damage inside the Octagon.

That being said, it remains to be seen which fighter can impose his will on the other because Gaethje prefers a striking battle, while Nurmagomedov prefers the ground game where he has been known to inflict his own type of brutal damage.

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 254 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN 2/ESPN+ at 12 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 254: “Khabib vs. Gaethje” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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