Khabib Nurmagomedov is set to defend his title against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249 on April 18. The fight will take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Fans have been longing to see this fight for a long time now. UFC has previously booked the fight four times and all four times have both fighters pulled out. Khabib Nurmagomedov pulled out of fights in 2015 and 2017 because of injuries, while Tony Ferguson also pulled out in 2016 and 2018 for the very same reason.
Tony Ferguson most dangerous lightweight in history?
Ahead of the fight, Khabib’s coach Javier Mendez said that this will be the biggest test of Khabib’s career. He praised Ferguson’s cardio and unorthodox style that makes him an extremely dangerous fighter.
He also said that the key to winning this fight is not breaking down.
“He’s got incredible cardio and really, really dangerous with elbows,” Mendez said (via – MMA Junkie). “Extremely dangerous. The most dangerous lightweight in the history of the UFC with elbows. Unorthodox, very effective unorthodox style. He’s got the heart of a lion.”
“You’re not gonna break this guy,” he said. “It’s not going to happen. He’s not going to break Khabib, neither are going to break. I don’t see that happening. I see these guys beating each other to death before they break. They’re not breaking. They’re not breaking, neither one of these guys are, so forget about that part. And They’re not breaking. Now beating them down, that’s another story.
“He can beat us down and we can beat him down. My job is to have Khabib beat him down, so I have to be on that side because I can’t be another side. So we’ll beat him down and we’re doing everything we can to make sure that that happens. And that means acknowledging how dangerous these elbows are, acknowledging how dangerous his submissions are, acknowledging how dangerous he’s with his cardio, acknowledging how dangerous he is in these areas.”
Tony Ferguson has fought one-time a year since 2017. Last year at UFC 238, he defeated Donald Cerrone via TKO in the second round. Before that, he fought at UFC 229, where he again defeated Anthony Pettis via TKO in the second round. Back in 2016, he defeated Kevin Lee via third-round submission at UFC 216.
On the other hand, Khabib Nurmagomedov is coming off of a third-round submission win over Dustin Poirier at UFC 242.