James Vick Thinks Tony Ferguson’s Strategy Will Not Work Against Khabib Nurmagomedov

Tony Ferguson

We’re all waiting, hoping, that Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov both make it to UFC 223 in April. It’s been coming for a long time and — next to Conor McGregor’s long awaited return — this is the best and most highly anticipated lightweight fight possible. Meanwhile, 11 slots under the top of the lightweight mountain, James Vick has eyes on moving up the roster after his win at UFC Austin. He recently weighed in on the UFC 223 fight and predicts that Nurmagomedov comes out on top.

“I think Khabib [Nurmagomedov] wins. I think that [Tony] Ferguson’s too content with being on his back. He’s going to get taken down, obviously. Khabib can take down pretty much anyone in the division. Guys can get up, but Tony Ferguson will accept being on his back and throwing elbows and playing rubber guard and he’s not going to win [against Nurmagomedov] like that. Unless he just likes land a big elbow and cuts Khabib from the bottom or something, I don’t see him being able to win a fight off his back. He gets too content with staying on his back instead of trying to get the hell up.”—James Vick speaking to MMA Junkie Radio.

It’s definitely no secret Tony Ferguson is lethal off of his back. Despite being taken down by Kevin Lee and controlled on top, he made Lee pay for it dearly with slicing and dicing elbows from the bottom before eventually submitting him. We don’t know if this will part of his same strategy in the fight with Khabib Nurmagoemdov, but we do know it’s safe to assume Nurmagomedov takes Ferguson down. From there, it will be a war of Sambo and 10th Planet jiu jitsu. Man, this fight can’t get here fast enough.

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/21/2018.