The highly anticipated bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0) and Tony Ferguson (25-3) has been officially booked for the fifth time! The bout for the UFC Lightweight championship will took place on April 18 in Brooklyn, New York and we’re more than excited to bring you the early analysis of this fan favorite matchup!
A Retrospective of all the canceled bouts
One of many reasons why the bout between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson is one of the most anticipated in history of UFC lays in the fact this is the fifth time the two have been booked to fight! It all began back in 2015 when the rib injury forced the Khabib to withdraw from the The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale. Just a few months later, Ferguson returned the favor by pulling out of their bout at UFC on Fox 19. The two were set for a third time at UFC 209 but the brutal weight cut forced the Russian to withdraw once again and literally fight for his life in the Las Vegas hospital!
Just as we thought that bad luck was gone, the biggest of them all struck just days before UFC 223 in probably the most bizarre way. While leaving the pre-fight media event, Ferguson slipped on an electrical cord and ruptured his LCL ligaments!
If MMA Gods allow us to see them making a walk towards the Octagon in April, will the bout be as exciting as their mutual history?
A true definition of “styles make fights”!
Tony Ferguson’s unique style is largely recognized as the one that will create the undefeated Russian all sorts of problems.
Sitting on the incredible 12 fight winning streak and coming from the outstanding performances over Anthony Pettis (UFC 229) and Donald Cerrone (UFC 238), we’ve every reason to believe that Tony is “the chosen one.” “El Cucuy” is probably the most talented and awkward fighter the world has ever seen! Without a doubt, his aggressive and unorthodox Muay Thai will be the key against Nurmagomedov and we don’t have to mention he has the cardio for days. While his wrestling capabilities are nowhere near Khabib’s, we can firmly say they share equal skills on the mat! What’s more, Ferguson doesn’t mind being on his back at all! Under the bat of BJJ legend Eddie Bravo, Ferguson has bounded his scrambles to perfection and is always capable of creating the space for submissions and brutal elbows from the bottom.
On the other hand, with the win over Ferguson, Khabib will clean the Lightweight division and cement himself as one of the greatest fighters of all time. Undefeated throughout his entire career, the current Lightweight champion is arguably the greatest wrestler in the history of MMA.
Although Ferguson enjoys the advantage on the feet, Khabib demonstrated considerable improvements in his standup game over the last couple of years. What’s more, he already faced and demolished the elite strikers in Conor McGregor and Edson Barboza before. Almost certainly, he’ll capitalize on “El Cucuy’s” wild standup and put him on his back multiple times. The question is, will he be able to neutralize him and hold him down? Furthermore, in his last fight against Dusting Poirier at UFC 242, Nurmagomedov ended up in a nasty guillotine choke but he managed to escape. However, we assure you Ferguson would not let this chance slip away!
It’s all about the gas tank
The fight will probably begin the same as all Nurmagomedov fights with him scoring an early takedown and establishing the top control. However, unlike the earlier opponents, Ferguson’s mentality won’t break inside the first round and he will make Khabib constantly work and expending his energy. As the fight progresses to the championship rounds, we’ll probably see Ferguson having more success defending the takedowns and testing Khabib’s chin many times with high volume. Both fighters have big gas tanks, but the main difference lays in the fact that Ferguson increases the pace as the fight goes, while Nurmagomedov could be seen slowing down from the third round! People are often overlooking this fact, and we firmly believe it will bring Ferguson a late TKO upset victory!