Many in the mixed martial arts world believe if anyone has a chance of defeating Khabib Nurmagomedov, it’s Tony Ferguson.
Nurmagomedov successfully defended his lightweight title against Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 earlier this month. In doing so, he took his professional record to 28-0.
And “El Cucuy” seems to be next in line to challenge him. Ferguson is on a 12-fight winning streak, never lost his interim lightweight title in the Octagon, and for many, has the tools to trouble “The Eagle” especially on the ground.
Former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley believes so as well as he offered an interesting take on that potential matchup.
“Ferguson has, in my opinion, one of the best chances to do well against him because he’s so fucking offensive from his back — it may not be a bad idea to be taken down,” Woodley said in a recent episode of Food Truck Diaries.
“You got to embrace it [the takedown] early, you don’t want him all sweaty, Khabib doesn’t have a huge neck. … So if I was fucking Tony, walk Khabib down, try to fuck him up. And if Khabib takes you down, go grind his ass out. I think unorthodox gives Khabib problems.”
That said, it’s easier said than done. After all, nobody has really troubled Nurmagomedov in the Octagon so far. So much so, that the Dagestan native may even have levels the mixed martial arts world hasn’t seen yet.
“And it’s easy for me to sit here and say that. But how do you train with somebody that can produce the type of pressure that Khabib does and also, think like Khabib?” Woodley added.
“Because Khabib may go for a body lock, go for a foot sweep. They don’t know his second or third attack like Khabib knows. Even if they come and do what they saw in the Octagon, he may only be on level one because nobody can stop it. He may have a second or third level that we don’t know about. How can your training partners mimic that?”