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Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje title unification fight targeted for UFC 253 on Sept. 19

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UFC 249 Khabib v Ferguson: Press Conference Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

A Lightweight title unification bout between division kingpin, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and interim title holder, Justin Gaethje, is reportedly being targeted for Sept. 19, 2020. That’s according to Combate, which also stated that the pay-per-view (PPV) event will be titled UFC 253.

Gaethje earned his shot at dethroning Khabib after knocking out Tony Ferguson in a highly-entertaining interim title fight at UFC 249 on May 9 (see it again here). Unfortunately, “Highlight’s” crowning moment ruined any chances of seeing Khabib finally face off against “El Cucuy” after five failed attempts prior.

Nevertheless, it is now Gaethje’s big-money fight, as he will look for his fifth straight win after winning his last four in a row by way of knockout. In fact, Gaethje’s last 11 wins have been stoppage victories via strikes, so Nurmagomedov will definitely have to keep his head on a swivel come fight night.

Speaking of “The Eagle,” he has yet to taste defeat in his combat career, going 28-0 (12-0 inside the Octagon). In his last fight, Nurmagomedov defeated Dustin Poirier via rear-naked choke at UFC 242. Prior to that, “The Eagle” choked out Conor McGregor at UFC 229 (full recap here).

Of course, Khabib’s return to action relies heavily on the health of his father, who has been battling a multitude of health issues brought on by COVID-19. Thankfully, a recent report revealed that Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov had shown signs of improvement.