UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov is well aware of how tough his upcoming opponent Tony Ferguson is. In fact, he considers Ferguson a tougher test than his other recent opponents like Edson Barboza, Rafael dos Anjos, Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier and Al Iaquinta.
Nurmagomedov rated Ferguson against his other recent opponents in a recent interview with TMZ.
“Yes, I think [he is my toughest opponent],” Nurmagomedov said. “I think, just my opinion, last couple years, I compete with guys like Barboza, dos Anjos, Conor, Poirier, Iaquinta… All of these guys, not tough like Tony Ferguson.”
Nurmagomedov added that the challenge Ferguson presents has him more focused than he was for any of the opponents listed above.
“Before when I watch all these opponents I’d say ‘ok, I can beat this guy,'” he said. “Of course I work hard, but right now, this is very, very tough opponent. We focus like always, but right now we have more focus, more hard work. Tony is not like these guys. He’s a little bit more tough than all of them.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov is currently a flawless 28-0 as a professional fighter—easily the most impressive undefeated record in the sport at present. Highlights of his resume include the aforementioned victories over top-flight opposition such as Dustin Poirier, Conor McGregor, Al Iaquinta, Edson Barboza, and Rafael dos Anjos.
Tony Ferguson, on the other hand, will enter his fight with with Nurmagomedov on a 12-fight win-streak. Highlights of his recent career include decisive victories over the likes of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, Anthony Pettis, Kevin Lee, Rafael dos Anjos and Edson Barboza.
Nurmagomedov and Ferguson will collide in the main event of UF 249, which is scheduled for April 18 in Brooklyn, New York. Who do you think will come out on top in this anticipated lightweight title fight?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/26/2020.