On October 6, in the main event of UFC 229, undefeated UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will attempt to defend his title opposite former featherweight lightweight champion Conor McGregor. In the card’s co-main event, former interim champion Tony Ferguson will meet former champion Anthony Pettis in a fight that could well produce the next opponent for the Nurmagomedov vs. McGregor winner.
While Khabib Nurmagomedov is hoping Tony Ferguson defeats Anthony Pettis so that the can finally share the cage (they’ve been scheduled four times previously to no avail), he’s not confident this is the way things will shake out. Instead, he considers Pettis a bad matchup for Tony Ferguson.
“I hope he going to win,” Khabib Nurmagomedov said of Tony Ferguson in a recent interview with Brian Vega. “But my opinion, this fight is stylistically very bad matchup for Tony Ferguson. I don’t know how he feel after he is injured. He is  years old. He come back after injury. If he wins, it’s going to be big fight next year. One more biggest fight in UFC history. Let’s go.”
As Khabib Nurmagomedov mentions, Tony Ferguson is returning from an unfortunate injury. This injury occurred in the lead-up to April’s UFC 223 card, when Ferguson was expected to battle Nurmagomedov for the vacant UFC lightweight title. With Ferguson out, Nurmagomedov was booked for a fight with featherweight champ Max Holloway, who also withdrew at the last minute. In the end, he wound up fighting New York’s Al Iaquinta on just 24 hours notice. He won the fight by unanimous decision, capturing the vacant lightweight title in the process.
Khabib Nurmagomedov is currently 26-0 overall, while Ferguson boasts an impressive 23-3 record of his own. Do you think we’ll ever see the pair fight? How do you think they’ll perform at UFC 229?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/17/2018.