Ali Abdel-Aziz, manager of the Russian UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, on Instagram announced the fight between the Russian and American Justin Gaji.
The fight is due to take place on September 19 in Abu Dhabi as part of the UFC 253 tournament. The 31-year-old Nurmagomedov will make his third title defense.
Gaethje is the interim UFC lightweight champion. In May, he defeated compatriot Tony Ferguson by TKO. Nurmagomedov commented on the result of the fight, saying that in MMA there will always be fighters hungry for victory who “breathe in their backs.” Gatji said that he was “eager to face the main challenge in the person of Khabib.”
Nurmagomedov ranks second in the ranking of the best fighters in the UFC, excluding weight categories. He defended the championship belt twice. The Russian has 28 victories and not a single defeat in mixed martial arts.