To defeat the perfect Habib Normgomedov (balance 0:28) needs a special warrior. Even Conor from Gregor has failed and to this day, two years after that famous fight, the stinging loss is a stain on the career of the biggest star to come out of the UFC. The main suspect in eliminating the hegemony of the lightweight Dagestan was always Tony Ferguson, a strange chicken in the industry and one of the most dangerous fighters in the organization. The two were supposed to fight no less than five times, but the fight was canceled or postponed for more angular reasons (Ferguson slipped on a cable in the studio) or less (injuries and Corona).
Whoever took advantage of the rejections and overtook Ferguson in the round is Justin Geitchi, who defeated him last May and inflicted his first loss since 2012. He has always been an attractive and fearless fighter, one who everyone is waiting for his fights, but his purposeful display against Ferguson was a story Changed and raised him to the boss stage – a particularly difficult encounter against a predatory and invincible opponent. And to think that at all he had jumped into battle at the last minute. Will Geichi, who is given very little chance, surprise the UFC once again?
By the way, in an unconventional way and thanks to the great sympathy that the Muslim Normgomedov (32) receives in Abu Dhabi, the place where UFC 254 will be held, the organization is a few hours ahead of the event and the main fights will begin on Saturday at 21:00.
Justin Geichi (31, 2:22) was born in Arizona and started wrestling from the age of four. Unlike his father and grandparents on both sides who worked all their lives in the mines, he wanted to do something completely different. Even his twin, Marcus, worked there for ten years and continued the family legacy. At the age of 18 Geichi spent the summer in a mine and was not so connected. “I worked seven days a week, 12 hours a day. I did it for three months in a row and took a single sick day, but only because I had to sleep. There was one week where I worked 96 hours,” he told ESPN. As he was about to leave to start college, his co-workers stung him: “Come back here again, you will not succeed in college.”
Geichi had no doubt, but another motivation never related. After winning two national championships in high school, he went on to do corps at the University of Colorado and was an All-American, honored with outstanding U.S. athletes in every discipline. He was even named the University Hall of Fame and went on to a professional MMA career beginning in 2011. His opening was dizzying, The first to end up throwing his opponent to the ground, the vast majority were decided by knocks from punches. On the face of it, Geichi almost completely abandoned wrestling, which was supposed to be his bread and butter. Get a pretty amazing statistic that illustrates this: During his 24 fights he has only tried once to His opponent to the ground.
What is the explanation for this? Wrestling is very important as a background but is also known to be exhausting and not necessarily rewarding, so Geichi is more focused on punches and kicks and of course with successes one cannot argue. He arrived at the UFC in 2016 with a perfect balance of 0:17 and a huge hype that stemmed mostly from his wild and uninhibited style. That same year he also underwent surgery to improve his problematic vision. The situation was so bad that his friend claimed he had to be in contact with the opponent to know where he was in the ring and Geichi himself admitted that he was “blind”. In the first fight at least the surgery paid off when he met the experienced Michael Johnson and defeated him by knockout in the second round. On the other hand, he looked vulnerable and suffered quite a few blows.
This vulnerability was exploited by two top fighters, Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Fourier, who inflicted initial losses on him in his career, not before a mighty fight from Geichi, which earned these fights the “Battle of the Event” award and a monetary bonus. He recovered impressively with three consecutive knockouts in the first round, the last against veteran Donald Seroni. Then came a monster completely different from anything he had encountered up to that point. Tony Ferguson, who as mentioned has not lost eight years and stood on a streak of 12 wins, succumbed to a purposeful display of the surprising Geichi who unlike perhaps previous battles, came up with a plan.
“Ferguson underwent surgery on his left leg and Geichi took advantage of it with foot kicks in the first round,” Normgomedov analyzed the fight. “He fought very smartly and understood faster how to win. In the fifth round he gave him two more particularly strong blows and that’s where the story ends.” At the end of the fight Ferguson complimented Geichi but also provided an excuse for the loss: “Justin is a tough tough guy to be honest with, but I prepared for a liking and a fight on the ground, not a striker.”
When he says striker he meant the 137 mighty blows that Geichi landed on him, forcing the judges to stop the fight towards the end. Needless to say, he received at the end a bonus of $ 100,000, $ 50,000 for the “Battle of the Event” award that was also given to Ferguson and another $ 50,000 for the “Best Performance at the Event” award. He also won the temporary belt, but threw it away in the end-of-fight interview with commentator Joe Rogen and when asked about it, replied, “I want the real thing.”
So what are his chances against Habib Normgomedov, the man who has yet to lose and has not really been challenged in the arena? Opinions tend towards the Dagestan champion, but the majority agree that Geichi is a match-up tailored to his measurements. Daniel Cormier, the former UFC heavyweight and heavyweight champion and friend of Normgomedov, claims: “Geichi is Habib’s toughest opponent in the class, he’s a great fighter. It’s not just that he’s considered the most exciting fighter in the world of martial arts, And MMA. The geichi who fights Ferguson is more dangerous than any other fighter Normgomedov has encountered in the Octagon. He has never been lowered to the ground and has the tools to avoid liking it. To lose. “
In early July Normgomedov lost his father and coach Abdulmanap, who died following corona complications, and this is the first time he will fight without the man who accompanied him during his career. “I think his father’s name will give him motivation, in any case he is a real professional and it will not adversely affect him,” added Kormiya who is with Normgomedov in Abu Dhabi. The Dagestani, for his part, does not seem worried about Geichi and also has a prediction for the fight: “He will use wrestling and kickboxing, a kind of combination of the two, and my goal is to tire him out. I expect that in the third or fourth round I will eliminate him.” Just before the fight, he also interviewed Stephen A. Smith on ESPN and got nervous when asked about another fight against Gregor: “I already won it, do not want to talk about this shit.”
The legendary George St. Pierre, who may yet retire to face Normgomedov, unknowingly, tried to hand out tips to Geichi: “Right now Habib is the best fighter in the world, but if he wants to win, it has to happen at the start of the fight. Normgomedov always starts “The fight is defensive, and Geichi has to take advantage of it with an early attack. If he does not, I do not see him winning the battle. In any case, it is difficult to bet against Normgomedov.”
Meanwhile Normgomedov, a die-hard Real Madrid fan, also received a shot of encouragement from his friend Cristiano Ronaldo, whom he met in 2018. The Portuguese was asked in an Instagram chat who would win and replied without hesitation: “Obviously Habib will win, my brother! Inshallah!”.
Many people wonder if Geichi will be able to cope with Normgomedov’s tremendous ability on the ground. Former fighter and current commentator Chail Sonnen explained: “Contrary to what everyone thinks, he does use his background as a wrestler in every fight of his, just no one sees it. It happens mostly on the defensive side and because of his resume, not trying to knock him down, out of respect “It is very relevant to the battle against Habib and it will be very difficult for him to take him to the mat. On paper and in light of his appearances at the Octagon, Geichi is not an easy fighter to drop and also to leave him on the ground.”
Jechi himself, who comes into the fight as a definite underdog on the betting sites as well, said of the training ahead of the meeting: “I focused on my legs, it’s the first thing that goes when you get tired. “I only have to kick him eight times in the calves and he will weaken. I want to see him bleed and then his reaction. He is not as crazy as I am.” If there is a splash, Geichi is already signaling the following goal: “If I can beat Normgomedov, then I can also beat Conor Maggor. It would be unprecedented.”
Geichi and Normgomedov also share a manager, Ali Abdullahiz, who is generally planning a retirement battle for Dagestani, his favorite client. “I want to ruin the day for me, I want to ruin the day for Dana White (UFC President), I want to ruin the day for Daniel Cormier and I want to ruin my favorite Normgomedov day – Shi *** Oh all these people. I do not care what Their plan, I’m coming to destroy it, “Geichi sent a message to all skeptics.
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