There’s more than a few people who believe Tony Ferguson could be the man to hand Khabib Nurmagomedov  his first loss. But, based off comments Robert Whittaker  recently made about the undefeated champ, it sounds like he’ll be picking Khabib to beat “El Cucuy”.
Nurmagomedov’s latest win
The lightweight champ faced now former, interim champ Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 earlier this month, and Nurmagomedov’s grappling game ruled the day. Poirier threated with some heavy punches in round two, and with a dangerous-looking, guillotine choke in round three. But, aside from that, Khabib controlled much of the action with his takedowns and top-game, before securing a fight-ending, rear-naked-choke in round three.
Whittaker heaps praise on Khabib
Well, in advance of Whittaker’s October 5th bout with Israel Adesanya, the middleweight champion appeared on Grange TV. While talking about Khabib’s performance at UFC 242, and his abilities overall, Whittaker had this to say (quotes via MMA Junkie ):
“I don’t see Khabib losing anytime soon,” Whittaker said. “I just can’t. He put work on Dustin (Poirier). Dustin is a great fighter. And, you know, every opponent that goes in there to fight Khabib knows what Khabib is going to do. They know. So I’m sure Dustin worked wrestling defense rigorously, like the entire camp.”
“Khabib is something else,” Whittaker added. “His cardio, his subtle technique, his arm endurance, his stamina, and what blew me out of the water was his chin. He copped one of Dustin’s textbook left hands on the button of his chin.”
Yup, there’s no denying that with Nurmagomedov, we’re talking about one of the greatest fighters of this generation, if not ever. To date, no one really has had any substantive answers for Khabib’s wrestling and top-game. Further, as Whittaker alluded to, Nurmagomedov does appear to have a very, very solid chin.
Michael Johnson tagged him with a big shot in their 2016 bout, and Nurmagomedov cruised through it, en route to a submission win. Of course, since Nurmagomedov has taken so little punishment in his fights – on account of his takedowns – his chin appears to be as strong as ever, nearly 30 fights in.
But, on account of Ferguson’s dynamic and unorthodox striking, his nasty chokes and dangerous guard, many people believe he will be Khabib’s toughest test to date. Here’s hoping that fight gets booked for the not so distant future.
Whittaker, meanwhile, will face Adesanya in the headliner of UFC 243. The card will be hosted by Melbourne, Australia’s Marvel Stadium.