This Saturday in Las Vegas, undefeated Dagestani superstar Khabib Nurmagomedov will look to extend his undefeated streak and capture the interim UFC lightweight championship when he steps into the Octagon with streaking lightweight Tony Ferguson for a highly anticipated showdown.
Ahead of the fight, the pair have traded quite a bit of trash talk back and forth, with Nurmagomedov stating that he would break Ferguson’s arm when they step into the Octagon. Now however, in an interview with Fox Sports, ‘The Eagle’ changed his prediction, saying:
“I’m a wrestler, yes, but I’m not like regular wrestler, like American or other wrestling style. Try it. Try a couple of takedowns, if you cannot take him down, these guys are stopping. My style is a little big different,” Nurmagomedov explained ahead of UFC 209. “I never stop. If I try to take you down, if I cannot take you down, it’s OK, I’ll keep going.
“My style is make you tired and I think they worry about my style and don’t want to look bad inside the cage. That’s why I think a lot of people don’t take this fight.”
“He beat a lot of tough guys but last nine fights he fight only one time with a wrestling guy and he lose to Danny Castillo, I think he lost this fight but other guys it’s all striking guys. He never has tough wrestling opponents and when he has wrestling opponents he all the time has problems with them,”
“My plan is make him tired, little bit talk with him and he understands who is who and after [I] finish him.”
While Nurmagomedov certainly possesses some of the best wrestling in the UFC, Ferguson’s JiuJitsu abilities cannot be ignored. With 5 submission wins in the UFC to go along with a 10th Planet JiuJitsu black belt, it will be interesting to see if Ferguson can keep up with ‘The Eagle’ on the ground.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/1/2017.