Ben Askren Outlines Why he Finds Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson “Fascinating”

As it stands right now, the UFC is still planning to have Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson battle next month, and like many people, Ben Askren's pumped to see the fight.

For some time, many people have been saying they believe that Khabib Nurmagomedov versus Tony Ferguson has the potential to be one of the greatest, lightweight fights to date, and it sounds like Ben Askren agrees.

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Askren weighs-in on Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson

As this is being written, the UFC has not officially postponed UFC 249 and Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson, even though the April 18th card has no venue. The event was scheduled for that date in Brooklyn, New York. But, due to restrictions on public gatherings as a result of the coronavirus, the event needs to be relocated (UFC President Dana White continues to insist that the promotion will find a way to hold the event).

A big reason White and the UFC still hope to hold the card, is because in Nurmagomedov and Ferguson, you have two of the greatest fighters on the planet. Further, since the fight has been canceled four other times due to medical issues and injuries, there’s another layer of buzz for the bout.

Case in point, recently Askren appeared on Submission Radio, and while discussing the highly anticipated fight, “Funky” said this (quotes via MMA Fighting).

“I think it’s fascinating, that’s why it’s so exciting,” Askren said. “It’s two guys who are really good at what they do, and if you were to design a fighter to beat the other person, that’s what you would design them to do, and so I think it’s gonna be really, really fascinating.”

“Khabib’s obviously gonna get takedowns, and he’s been so dominant with ground and pound, but at the same time, Tony is so active off his back and he’s good with the elbows and he’s got a lot of tricky stuff. I think it’s gonna be totally fascinating, I’m excited to see what happens.”

“Tony’s a great fit, because he’s not gonna stay put on bottom. Tony can take a lot of damage, which, you know, Khabib will dish it out. Tony doesn’t get tired. and then Tony’s a high volume striker, he’s not a power puncher, which I don’t think is the right mix to beat Khabib, because I think you have to kind of fight him hard, stuff a few takedowns and volume strike him, and I think that’s how you’re gonna beat him, and that’s what Tony does. So, there’s a possibility.”

Yup. Hard to disagree with anything Askren said here. Although no one has had any real answers for Khabib’s takedowns and top game in the Octagon to date, he hasn’t faced anyone like Ferguson yet. 

Askren proposes punting the undercard for UFC 249

As noted above, White continues to insist that the UFC will find a way to hold UFC 249 next month. But, with more and more regions passing travel bans and restrictions on public gatherings, you have to really question if it will be possible (aside from the question of whether the UFC should). 

During the interview, Askren suggested cutting the rest of the bouts and just having Khabin and Tony fight, so that there are as few people involved as possible. Could the UFC take a look at doing this?

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