Add Brian Ortega to the list of fighters who think Tony Ferguson has a shot at beating Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Ever since Nurmagomedov retained his lightweight title against Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 last month, more fans are clamoring for “The Eagle” to finally face Tony Ferguson.
It’s a matchup that the mixed martial arts world has been wanting to see for years, with the fight being booked four times to no avail so far. However, the good news is that it looks likely to happen early next year.
And Ortega believes “El Cucuy” — who is on a 12-fight winning streak — is more than capable of emerging victorious. If he doesn’t, Ortega thinks he’s the one who will eventually do it.
“They’re high, man,” Ortega told John Hyon Ko in a recent interview of Ferguson’s chances of beating Nurmagomedov. “It’s going to happen. Tony’s an amazing athlete, he’s a great jiujitsu guard player as well.
“But when I see things, there’s just certain positions that I feel like I’m better at than certain people. And vice-versa they’re better than me in other positions. But the positions that Khabib is amazing at, I’m equally as amazing at from the bottom of the coin. I feel like if anyone is going to beat him, it’s going to be Ferguson. And if not, we’re going to have to wait until I come up.”
Like Ferguson, Ortega is a jiujitsu black belt but even more of a specialist when it comes to the ground. It’s why many feel “T-City” is another one capable of challenging Nurmagomedov.
When Nurmagomedov faced adversity in the form of a guillotine choke from Poirier only to escape, Ortega made his thoughts clear.
If I had that neck like that it be a wrap
— Brian Ortega (@BrianTcity) September 7, 2019
Ortega — who faces The Korean Zombie in the UFC Buscan headliner in December — still feels that way. However, he believes he can only really call out the Dagestan native once he’s the champion at featherweight.
“I mean, that’s what it is,” Ortega added. “I feel like anyone who I wrap up is in danger. And the level of danger is extreme. I’ve been doing this for over 15 years and I’ve been going with the top-level grapplers in the entire world and finishing them and catching them. So this is something that is in the future for sure.
“Hopefully, Khabib doesn’t retire. Give me some time to go in there and let me do what I have to do to prove myself the way he proved himself. Let me become a champ and then I feel like I’ll have the right to really call him out and have it be a lot more serious than saying his name in interviews.”
Ortega is not the only fighter who believes Ferguson has a chance. Here are just some of the others: