EXCLUSIVE | Rising lightweight contender David Teymur not impressed by Nurmagomedov or Ferguson

David Teymur

On April 7, in the main event of the stacked UFC 223, interim UFC lightweight champion Tony Ferguson and undefeated contender Khabib Nurmagomedov will vie for the undisputed title (which is expected to be vacated by Conor McGregor in the coming weeks). As one of the lightweight division’s fastest rising contenders, Sweden’s David Teymur will be watching this fight closely. Already 4-0 in the perilous lightweight division, he could easily find himself in the cage with the fight’s winner in the future.

So who does Teymur expect to win this Ferguson-Nurmagomedov bout? He’s leaning toward Nurmagomedov.

“It’s a good fight, and who do I think is gonna win that fight? I think Khabib will win that fight on points,” the rising Swedish contender said on episode 71 of BJ Penn Radio.

While Teymur is picking Nurmagomedov to win, he’s not particularly impressed by Nurmagomedov, and the lack of finishes on his record. He also pointed out that Nurmagomedov only earned his first UFC post-fight bonus in his last fight, a December decision defeat of Edson Barboza.

“Khabib, he don’t have so much [finishes]. I mean, all his fights I’ve seen, he don’t have so many finishes, you know? All his fights, I don’t know, I don’t think that [he’s] entertaining too. He’s a good athlete but, like I just said, his style, it’s not maybe the most exciting style, in my opinion. [After] all his fights, he gets the first bonus now after his 25 fights, yeah?”

Needless to say, Teymur likes the way he matches up with Nurmagomedov. He also likes his chances, against Ferguson, having recently bested Lando Vannata, who gave Ferguson numerous problems in their 2016 short-notice fight.

“I’m more than ready for [the top fighters in this] division,” Teymur said. “It’s just a matter of time. We saw Lando Vannata against Tony Ferguson. In my opinion, Lando Vannata [would have won] but the thing was, he took that fight on short notice so he got tired, he gets choked out. In my opinion, Lando Vannata [should have] won that fight.”

“I had him as a winner until before he got choked out from Tony Ferguson,” Teymur continued. “Before that, he was doing really good performance against him. It was good striking and all this, yeah. Everybody saw that fight so yeah, Tony Ferguson won that fight but [Vannata], before he got choked out, in my eyes, he was a winner before he got choked out.”

How do you think David Teymur would fare against top fighters like Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov?

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/28/2018.