The fight between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov is the most anticipated in the history of the UFC lightweight division. They have been scheduled to fight four times now. Yet, we have not seen these two best lightweights fight inside the octagon. However, with Nurmagomedov successfully defending his title against Dustin Poirier in UFC 242, fans are more hopeful than ever before to finally witness a fight between Ferguson and Nurmagomedov.
Tony Ferguson was not impressed with the champion’s performance as he said:
“When I see someone pushing against the cage and not really doing much, just kind of putting themselves as a wet blanket. When I fought Danny Castillo, he did the same kind of thing. It’s interesting how Khabib fights but to me it’s just boring. It’s lazy.”
It’s safe to say that the former interim champion, Tony Ferguson is one of the fighters in the division who not only can take the Russian to deep water but also can defeat him. However, beating the lightweight champion is easier said than done. 28 have failed to break Khabib’s unbeaten streak before including some big names such as Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and Rafael Dos Anjos. However, it seems Tony Ferguson has all the tools to cause the upset when he fights Nurmagomedov.
In his interview with ESPN, answering how would he defend the pressure and grappling of Nurmagomedov, the former interim lightweight champion replied:
“Khabib is a high-level grappler. He has been grappling his whole life. So have I. I have been doing this a lot longer than Dustin has as far as grappling and chain wrestling. My style is a bit different. And right now for Khabib, my style is the one that could him outsmart him, could outthink him and outmaneuver him and put him in places where he is not familiar like in dancing territory.”
Well, it’s hard to argue against the fact that Ferguson is the guy to dethrone the unbeaten lightweight champion. Agreed Nurmagomedov has fought fighters of many styles, but he has not faced someone like Tony Ferguson yet.
Ferguson’s cardio and pressure can not be matched. He breaks down opponents with peer pressure and the last two Ferguson’s fight ended with Doctor’s stoppage. As if being lethal on feet was not enough, Ferguson is dangerous when it comes to grappling. In his fight against Kevin lee, after being nominated for the first few rounds, he submitted Lee from the back. That just goes to show Ferguson is brilliant in every aspect of the fight.
The same can be said for Khabib Nurmagomedov too. The argument of Nurmagomedov’s inferior striking and untested chin has to stop after he outboxed the likes of Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirer. he even took their best shots and still survived. It’s undeniable that Nurmagomedov’s striking is highly effective after the win against Poirier.
At the moment the fight between Tony Ferguson and Nurmagomedov has not been official yet. However, with a 12 win streak Tony Ferguson is likely to get the title shot next.