Ben Askren is very excited for the upcoming lightweight title fight between champ Khabib Nurmagomedov and challenger Tony Ferguson — which is why he’s offered up a plan to ensure it still happens despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking on a recent episode of Submission Radio, the former ONE Championship and Bellator welterweight king delved into the nuances of the matchup.
“I think it’s fascinating, that’s why it’s so exciting,” Askren said (transcript via MMA Fighting). “It’s two guys who are really good at what they do, and if you were to design a fighter to beat the other person, that’s what you would design them to do, and so I think it’s gonna be really, really fascinating.”
“Khabib’s obviously gonna get takedowns, and he’s been so dominant with ground and pound, but at the same time, Tony is so active off his back and he’s good with the elbows and he’s got a lot of tricky stuff,” Askren continued. “I think it’s gonna be totally fascinating, I’m excited to see what happens.”
“Tony’s a great fit, because he’s not gonna stay put on bottom,” Askren added. “Tony can take a lot of damage, which, you know, Khabib will dish it out. Tony doesn’t get tired. and then Tony’s a high volume striker, he’s not a power puncher, which I don’t think is the right mix to beat Khabib, because I think you have to kind of fight him hard, stuff a few takedowns and volume strike him, and I think that’s how you’re gonna beat him, and that’s what Tony does. So, there’s a possibility.”
This Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson fight is scheduled to occur on April 18. It was originally expected to go down in Brooklyn, New York, but the coronavirus has left the UFC searching for a new location for the event.
What do you think of this breakdown from Ben Askren? Who do you have winning the big lightweight title fight?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/20/2020.