MMA veteran and fighter, Josh Thomson reveals what his teammate, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s only kryptonite is. During an interview with BJPenn.com, Thomson discussed the undefeated lightweight champion and shared his prediction for “The Eagle’s” upcoming bout against Tony Ferguson.
Having previously fought Tony Ferguson in 2015, do you give Khabib any pointers on their expected fight?
“We were talking quite a bit recently, and I’m going to spend a lot more time getting him in better shape to help him for the camp.
“It’s hard to emulate what Tony does, but having an insight into what he does well I think will help Khabib in what he needs to do to win the fight.
“Khabib doesn’t need a whole lot of advice, he’s going to do what he does best and what Tony doesn’t. He just needs to make sure nothing dramatic happens in between what he does really well.
“He needs to make sure he can close the distance really fast, we need to make sure he uses his stand up and head movement well, make sure that he doesn’t get hit with big shots.
Do you think the unorthodox fighting style of Ferguson will pose a new challenge for Khabib?
“I think it will in the beginning but it’s hard to offer an unorthodox style of fighting when you’re spending most of the fight on your back.
“I tried a couple of takedowns on Tony during our fight, and he was kind of able to roll away which threw me off completely and it changed the way I approached the fight. With Khabib, there’s no way he’s going to change the style of what he does. He’s [Khabib] not that type of person. He’s somebody that will take you down, and when he takes you down, he will find ways to maul you. That’s because he understands how good he is in that position. And we’ve seen it; he hasn’t been stopped; he hasn’t been finished.”
Josh Thomson continued:
“In Dagestan, they don’t sweat the small stuff. Their lifestyle is ‘I go to the gym and I don’t care what it looks like, I care about what I put in while I’m there.’
“They have this little rickety bar from a brick ball, but they will use that for probably hundreds of exercises, whereas Americans need a full machine. They’ve learnt to get the best out of what they have. Every time I meet them, Islam Mackachev, Islam Magomedov etc. You’ve got all these young talented guys coming to AKA, but very rarely do I see them step foot in the fitness room. They go out on the track. Inside the track next to AKA there’s the equivalent of a toy gymnasium but they use it for everything. They don’t need all the fancy, equipment.”
I guess that’s why he’s so successful because it gives you a different type of work ethic and fighter mentality.
“It really does. It’s a different type of life, a different type of fighter mentality. Everything you have, you have to earn.
“I’m very proud to be American and everything that we are able to have in the US, but when it comes to athletes, we really have first-world problems. We really need to focus on the things that make us better, not the tiny things.
“He (Khabib) does have kryptonite though, he loves his Coke. He likes his soda.”
“But hey, if that’s the only niche you’re going to have. Plus, there are days Americans go without training. They [Khabib] train twice a day, every single day. And these guys will also just sit in their hotel room and do sit-ups in their free time.
“As Americans, we don’t do that. I’ve trained my whole life, but that doesn’t mean I do sit-ups when I walk in the front door.”
To get discover the routes of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s incredible work ethic and training regime that Josh Thomson touched on, watch The Anatomy of A Fighter below: