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Khabib Nurmagomedov on whether Tony Ferguson is the toughest opponent of his career

  • Khabib Nurmagomedov gives an interesting take on his upcoming challenger Tony Ferguson.
R. Nath
Modified 27 Feb 2020, 13:21 IST

Khabib Nurmagomedov
Khabib Nurmagomedov

Khabib Nurmagomedov is set to face Tony Ferguson in what's now the fifth attempt at making the fight. As you may already know, the fight has been made on four occasions and all four times have seen the bout canceled, with both men pulling out twice each.

Their clash always seemed inevitable and right now, it's the best fight that the UFC can make. It's undoubtedly the most important fight in Lightweight history and two major streaks will be on the line.

Both men have faced a "murderer's row" in the 155-pound division, which is undoubtedly the most talent-stacked weight class in UFC today (and probably in UFC history).

When asked by TMZ (H/T LowkickMMA) about where Tony Ferguson stands among his past opponents, he admitted that none of them are as tough as El Cucuy:

“Yes, I think, just my opinion, my last couple of years, I compete with guys like [Edson] Barboza, [Rafael] dos Anjos, Conor, Poirier, [Al] Iaquinta — all of these guys not tough like Tony Ferguson,” 

The Tony Ferguson fight is about legacy for the Russian Lightweight Champion and he feels that Ferguson being a tough opponent has given him some real motivation:

“That’s why now I feel I have real motivation because like before, when I watched all these opponents I think like, ‘okay, I can beat this guy.’ Of course, I work hard, but right now it’s a very, very tough opponent.

He said that there's a lot more focus and hard work since Ferguson is a "little bit tougher":

“That’s why we focus like always, but right now, we have more focus, more hard work. Tony is not like these guys. He’s a little bit tougher than all of them.”

While Nurmagomedov and Ferguson may not like each other personally, there's a clear sense of respect for each other's ability. Even Khabib's father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov emphasized on how important the fight is for his son's legacy.

The two men will square off at UFC 249 on April 18th. Hopefully, it goes through this time. But until the two men step into the Octagon, it's hard to expect it to go through.

Published 27 Feb 2020, 12:14 IST
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