Dustin Poirier thinks Khabib Nurmagomedov will defend his lightweight title when he fights Tony Ferguson at UFC 249.
On April 18, Nurmagomedov and Ferguson are booked to fight one another for the fifth time in a scrap many fans are looking forward to. Although “The Eagle” is favored to win, many think it will be a close fight. But, for Poirier who fought Nurmagomedov last, he thinks the Dagestani champion will get his hand raised.
“It’s MMA. Anything can happen. Nothing’s for sure,” Dustin Poirier said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “But I just think he’s going to be the better competitor. If Kevin Lee was able to outwrestle Tony, and I think Danny Castillo did the same thing, Khabib’s definitely going to be able to do it.”
If Khabib Nurmagomedov does beat Tony Ferguson, who he would fight next is uncertain. UFC president, Dana White has made it clear he wants to book Nurmagomedov-McGregor 2.
Yet, for Poirier, he believes Justin Gaethje against Nurmagomedov would be an interesting bout. He also thinks “The Highlight” could cause problems for the undefeated champion given his brawling style and his wrestling background.
“He might have the ability to keep his back off the fence and keep it in the middle and, if he does get taken down, scramble back up. I think guys like that, who are going to take risks and brawl and have the hips and wrestling knowledge to stay up, will give him problems,” he explained.
Currently, Justin Gaethje has no fight booked and was criticized by White for turning down several fights. The former WSOF champ recently came out and said he turned down bouts with Dan Hooker and Charles Oliveira. In addition, Gaethje added that Tony Ferguson had turned down a fight with him at UFC 242.
Justin Gaethje vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov would no doubt be an entertaining fight and one that could happen in the future. But, for now, the Dagestani champ needs to beat Ferguson at UFC 249.
Do you agree with Dustin Poirier that Khabib Nurmagomedov will beat Tony Ferguson, and Justin Gaethje could give the champ problems? Sound off in the comment section, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/17/2020.