"It's really a terrifying moment". After the rumours were finally confirmed that we'd see Justin Gaethje replace Khabib Nurmagomedov in the main event of UFC 249, Gaethje gave an interview in which he breaks down his thought process and how he's approaching the last-minute fight.
Unfortunately for all of us MMA fans, it seems Joe Rogan is right: Khabib vs. Tony really is a cursed fight. Despite making it to the home stretch just a month out from the fight, the coronavirus pandemic has caused the fight to be cancelled for a fifth (!) time.
With Khabib Nurmagomedov being caught at home in Russia, strict quarantine regulations, and no set location being confirmed yet for the event on April 18th, it just seems like it wasn't in the cards this time. We were so close...
Since the initial news broke, some names have been floating around as to who would replace Khabib in the main event. One of the biggest rumoured names to face off against Tony Ferguson was former lightweight champion Conor McGregor, which would've been a great fight in its own right.
Despite rumours circulating of McGregor taking Khabib's place in the octagon, it has since been confirmed that Justin Gaethje will be filling in for Khabib and fighting for the interim title. If his past performances in the UFC are any indicator, this is sure to be a fight for the ages.
Gaethje, in an interview with TMZ Sports, revealed a lot about his mindset, his thought process on accepting the fight on such short notice, and more.
When talking about other fighters in the division being offered the fight:
A lot of guys will say that they're ready, but a lot of them won't put their name on that dotted line...
When talking about his motivation for taking the fight:
I'm going to go out there, I'm going to get a paycheck - which is nice -, but ultimately I'm going to get a chance at glory, you know? Heroes live forever, legends never die and I'm literally here to make a statement, you know? My name will be carried on far longer after I'm here because of my effort, my work ethic, and the skills I possess.
Check out the video above for the full interview!