Why Tony Ferguson Stood No Chance Against Khabib Nurmagomedov

Published 12/14/2020, 12:13 AM EST


Tony Ferguson has had a tough go in the UFC as of late after recently dropping his second straight fight. The former interim champion lost a rather lopsided decision to Charles Oliveira who is primed to make a title run. The bout served as the co-main event for UFC 256 which was the final pay-per-view event of the year.

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‘El Cucuy’ had nothing much to offer in terms of resistance to Oliveira who imposed his will at every possible turn. Charles Oliveira was able to ground Ferguson at will with emphatic slam-style takedowns. He was able to control Tony Ferguson after getting top position and threatening submissions. At one point, the fight was virtually over after Ferguson was caught up in a remorseless armbar.

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Tony Ferguson’s beat down on the canvas has fuelled fan speculation as to how a Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson would go. The two were set to face each other on five occasions and the bout fell through all five times. Despite Nurmagomedov’s retirement from MMA, fans can’t help but look at how a bout between the two would play out.

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson: A battle fought in hindsight

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Given Charles Oliveira’s prowess on the ground, it seems as though Khabib will be able to produce even better results. ‘The Eagle’ has perfected certain positions that came to ‘Do Bronx’ with ease in his fight against Ferguson. Fans were quick to draw comparisons from the match-up and looked at Nurmagomedov’s intrinsic strengths.

Although Nurmagomedov’s submission skills are a step behind Oliveira’s, it’s his ground positioning that makes him lethal. He’s able to generate a fight-ending offense from any grounded position and maximize his output to seek the finish. Additionally, he’s defensively sound in full mount as well and hasn’t really faced significant threats.

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However, Tony Ferguson came in as a force off his back and he displayed some threatening submissions off his back against ‘Do Bronx’. At one point, he was attempting an arm-in reverse triangle to try to steal the win. Hence, Khabib would have to be wary throughout the fight.

A momentary lapse in concentration could be the end for anyone on the ground against a crafty veteran like Ferguson. However, his overall ground game had clear holes that would lead Khabib to go in as a massive favorite.

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Darryl Pinto

2126 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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