UFC 249: 5 reasons why Tony Ferguson will beat Khabib Nurmagomedov
- Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov are just weeks away from their highly-anticipated fight
- Here are 5 reasons why Ferguson arguably has the upper hand
Tony Ferguson versus Khabib Nurmagomedov - colloquially known as the "most cursed fight in UFC history", it has been scheduled 4 times in the past, dating back to 2015, having been cancelled each time.
The fight is in danger of being cancelled for the fifth time due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. However, with Dana White insisting that UFC 249 will still take place, it seems that the fight between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson will move forward on April 18.
Khabib Nurmagomedov is an undefeated MMA fighter with a 28-0 record, with high-profile wins over the likes of Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor. He is known for his sambo-based wrestling, where he takes his opponents down, ties up their limbs, and forces his weight down on them, before using his methodical ground-and-pound skills to finish off his opponents.
Tony Ferguson is currently on a 12 fight winning streak, and the #1 contender for the UFC Lightweight Championship. He is not the typical MMA fighter, with an unpredictable style that overwhelms his opponents; he is very skilled on his feet, with an instinctive, counter-punching boxing style that catches his opponents off-guard - and he is also very skilled on the ground, with a black belt in 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu and a collegiate wrestling career to his name.
While it seems impossible to predict the winner of such a tight affair, one could argue that Ferguson has the upper hand. With that being said, here are 5 reasons why Tony Ferguson will beat Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 249.
#5 - His aerobic fitness
MMA is one of the most physically taxing sports in the world, and as such, it is normal for fighters to become tired, slowing down with each round.
However, this does not apply to Tony Ferguson, whose aerobic fitness is easily one of the best in the lightweight division. Unlike most fighters, Ferguson is able to keep up his tempo through 5 rounds without gassing out, which has undoubtedly been one of the keys to his success.
An example of this can be seen in Ferguson's fight against Kevin Lee at UFC 216. The first two rounds were very fast-paced, with both fighters exchanging strikes back-and-forth. However, once the third round began, Lee was visibly exhausted, at which point Ferguson pounced on his opponent, submitting Lee with a triangle choke.
Khabib has a history of gassing out in fights, as seen in his fights against Al Iaquinta and Conor McGregor. If Ferguson is able to keep up his tempo through the later rounds of his fight against Khabib, there is a high likelihood that he may be able to overwhelm Khabib in the fight.