Once again, Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov are booked in the single best lightweight fight that is available in MMA at this point. At UFC 223, whether it be for the interim or the undisputed title, this clash is going to be insane. It’s crushing, combat Sambo up against unorthodox striking and 10th Planet jiu jitsu. It’s a match-up that fascinated a lot of people, including Joe Rogan and Ben Askren. Former ONE FC and Bellator welterweight champion Askren recently weighed-in on the epic fight and one of MMA’s best wrestlers ended up backing the Russian smashing machine.
“[Khabib Nurmagoemdov] was a like a frickin’ Terminator though [in the fight at UFC 219]. He was chasing [Edson Barboza]. It was insane. He’s fantastic. […] I think he beats up Tony [Ferguson]. That’s just my opinion. I’ve underestimated Tony before so I could be wrong again, I just think — again, trump card. I think Tony’s one of those guys who is pretty good everywhere: Pretty damn solid wrestling, high level jiu jitsu, but I see Khabib’s wrestling being better than Tony’s wrestling.”
— UFC (@ufc) January 19, 2018
“It’s going to end up on the ground. I think Tony’s going to think he can submit him because his jiu jitsu is very high level, but I think it’s one of those things where Khabib’s just good enough not to be submitted and then he’s going to land damage, and land damage, and land damage, and land damage. Until he’s going to get close to a submission, close to a submission, close to a submission, but not quite get it and all this damage is just going to accumulate and accumulate.” — Ben Askren on Joe Rogan’s MMA Show.
Ben Askren predicts that Khabib Nurmagomedov pretty much does what he always does: Take the opponent down, drown them, then punish them until they submit, if they don’t submit, just punish them more. However, Tony Ferguson is a notoriously durable machine with a gas tank always on full, complete with slicing and dicing elbows. Which is why it is so incredibly compelling. Not to mention, anyone can always be caught in a submission. We’ll get to find out if Askren is right at UFC 223, as all of us hope we finally get to see this amazing scrap.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/24/2018.