Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov are now set to battle for the UFC interim lightweight title at UFC 209 – but don’t expect that fact to put an end to their trash talk. Just as they did throughout the negotiation process for this bout, Ferguson and Nurmagomedov are taking every possible opportunity to roast each other on social media.
Their latest social media skirmish occurred on Sunday evening, when Nurmagomedov suggested Ferguson wanted his pay check up front because he’s not confident he’ll win their fight.
Tony want this money up front because not confident he's gonna win he wants to cash out because he know what I will smash him @danawhite
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) January 9, 2017
This prompted Ferguson to fire back with a crackling critique of Nurmagomedov’s game, accusing the Dagestan native of a deficit in the boxing skills department.
— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) January 9, 2017
Though boxing is undeniably one of the weaker components of Nurmagomedov’s game (see the first round of his fight with Michael Johnson for evidence of this), he has more than made up for this deficit with his world class grappling skill (see the third round of his fight with Michael Johnson for evidence of this). Regardless, Ferguson seems confident that the key to beating Nurmagomedov – something nobody has managed to do before – is a prolonged striking battle.
It’s possible that Ferguson’s critique of Nurmagomedov’s boxing stems from this recent Nurmagomedov Instagram post:
Though it has not been officially announced by the UFC just yet, we have confirmed that Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson will indeed fight for the interim lightweight title at UFC 209 – most likely in the co-main event, as a rematch between Tyron Woodley and Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson is likely to fill the main event spot.
Nurmagomedov will enter this lightweight showdown with a submission defeat of Michael Johnson behind him. This win, which occurred on the undercard of UFC 205, moved him to a ridiculous 24-0 overall. Ferguson, on the other hand, sits at 22-3 in sum, having most recently defeated former champion Rafael Dos Anjos by decision. The winner of this fight is likely to fight undisputed lightweight champion Conor McGregor later in 2017. The Irish champion is currently taking a break from competition to father his first child.
Who do you think will come out in this anticipated lightweight showdown?