Eddie Bravo believes that Tony Ferguson’s MMA arsenal will provide a greater challenge than Khabib Nurmagomedov has ever faced before.
On April 18, the lightweight champion Nurmagomedov is set to defend his title against Ferguson in the UFC 249 main event. It is one of the most anticipated matchups in MMA history, as the two fighters have been scheduled to meet four times previously to no avail.
The 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu boss Eddie Bravo appeared on a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience to discuss the eagerly-awaited matchup. He discussed the preparation he has been putting in with Ferguson to decode the Nurmagomedov riddle.
“We’ve been preparing for Khabib for a long time… We’re always preparing for the worst-case scenario, and Khabib is the worst-case scenario,” Bravo said of his preparation with Ferguson. “He’s probably the best ground-and-pounder wrestler ever, right?
“This is the toughest challenge ever in MMA for 10th Planet, that’s for sure. I’m going to pull him [Khabib] into some uncharted territory, and that’s what I’ve been doing with Tony.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s sambo skillset has made him one of the most formidable opponents in MMA. However, Bravo believes Ferguson’s unorthodox approach will provide multiple threats to “The Eagle.”
“The thing with Khabib, Khabib is undefeated, no doubt one of the best fighters of all time,” Bravo said. “But you’ve got to remember this too, there are a couple of Khabib fights— we’ve watched all the Khabib fights—where you don’t see the classic Khabib. Like Gleison Tibau, that didn’t go down like [expected]. There are some fights Khabib [looks human].
“You can also look at the [Rafael] dos Anjos fight. He clearly won that but there were things he couldn’t do that he could do with other people. He couldn’t get past dos Anjos’ guard. He wasn’t that easy to take down.”
Bravo then praised Ferguson for his wrestling ability, comparing it to that of Nurmagomedov’s recent opponent Conor McGregor.
“Tony wrestled his whole goddamn life,” he said. “There’s a light-year difference between Conor’s wrestling and Tony’s wrestling… Tony will throw D’Arces standing and from all different angles, and while you’re trying to take him down. So Khabib’s got to worry about that.
“I will promise you this, we’ve got all sorts of landmines waiting for him, traps,” Bravo added, hinting at the Ferguson gameplan. “We know where he wants to take the fight and there’s gonna be some traps there. All sorts of them and no one knows about them. We’re not talking about them, but we’ve been working on this for a while.”
Do you think Tony Ferguson can overthrow Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 249?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/24/2020.