On April 7, in the main event of UFC 223, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson will battle for the UFC lightweight title. Not an interim title, but the undisputed title, which is expected to be stripped from Conor McGregor in the coming weeks.
Ahead of this fight, Nurmagomedov has referred to it as the “most important fight in UFC today.”
“Only four weeks before fight, tough opponent, real belt on the line,” Nurmagomedov told Kevin Iole late last week (h/t MMAMania). “Ten win streak versus nine win streak. UFC never make this fight. 25 years UFC history, they never make fight like this fight. This is high level fight. This is going to be very good for fans, for guy who gonna take this belt, UFC gonna make money. Everyone gonna be happy because this fight very high level fight and this fight most important fight in UFC today.”
So how does Nurmagomedov plan to beat Tony Ferguson in the most important fight in the UFC today? As decisively as he defeated Rafael dos Anjos, Michael Johnson and Edson Barboza – that’s how.
“First of all it’s about real belt, this is not interim championship, this is not Tony Ferguson belt, this is not Conor McGregor belt, this is real belt,” Nurmagomedov said. “I’m not going to fight Tony Ferguson fake belt. I’m not going to fight Conor McGregor belt when he win this fight almost three years ago. I’m going to fight real belt and this is big motivation. Five round, big fight. We are supposed to fight three times now.”
“I’m going to make this fight easy,” the undefeated Russian continued. “People gonna talk about this fight, ‘Wow, nobody do this before with Tony Ferguson.’ Like I do with Michael Johnson, like I do Rafael dos Anos, like I do with Edson Barboza, with everybody. Who beat them like this? I’m gonna do this again with Tony Ferguson.”
Do you think Khabib Nurmagomedov can defeat Tony Ferguson to win lightweight gold at UFC 223?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/12/2018.