Khabib Nurmagomedov downplays skills of Ferguson, Cerrone

Khabib Nurmagomedov

Last weekend, Tony Ferguson and Donald Cerrone collided in a thrilling war, reminding the world why they’re regarded as two of the lightweight division’s top fighters. Reigning lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, however, wasn’t all that impressed with what he saw.

Speaking to  ESPN recently, Nurmagomedov broke down the skills of the two fighters, starting with “Cowboy” Cerrone.

“It was an interesting fight, but anyways, it was standup fight,” Khabib Nurmagomedov said of Cerrone and Ferguson’s fight. “This is not my style, I maul my opponents. I take them down, smother them and make them tired. My style is much different than ‘Cowboy.’

“Even if we talk about boxing, ‘Cowboy’ is a very good kicker but he is not a great boxer. He is not a good top boxer, you know? He have not a bad jab, but when someone pressures him he stop. Mentally he is not strong.”

Next, Khabib Nurmagomedov discussed his rival Tony Ferguson, assuring he would maul the dynamic fighter like he mauls everybody else.

“That’s why I win this fight [with Ferguson], maybe Tony think I am going to risk or I am going to striking with him, like all of his opponents,” he said. “No way. He is very skinny on his body and I am going to take him, catch him and in a couple of minutes make him tired and finish him. I am completely different fighter than all his opponents.”

Interestingly, Khabib Nurmagomedov has been scheduled to fight both Donald Cerrone and Tony Ferguson before. He’s been paired with Cerrone twice, and Ferguson a whopping four times, but thanks to a series of unfortunate twists, has yet to share the cage with either man. Depending on how things shake out in his UFC 242 fight with Dustin Poirier, that could certainly soon change.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/14/2019.