The top two contenders in the UFC’s Lightweight Division are preparing to battle for the Interim Title this Saturday at UFC 209 as number one contender Khabib Nurmagomedov takes on number two contender Tony Ferguson.
Tony Ferguson heads into this weekend’s bout with four of his last six bouts finished by submission and three consecutive “Fight of The Night” performances. Meanwhile, Khabib Nurmagomedov, a.k.a “The Eagle” (24-0, 8 KO’s, 8 Sub’s), is fighting in his first ever five-round contest with the UFC after six of his last eight fights saw the promotion going into the third round.
While this fight is for the Interim Lightweight strap, the winner will most likely become the full-time champion as current belt-holder Conor McGregor is on a hiatus awaiting the birth of his first-born child. Nurmagomedov has been overly critical of “The Notorious,” stating that he couldn’t care about fighting him, and that he only wishes to capture and fully defend the 155-pound belt.
- Khabib Nurmagomedov (-170) vs Tony Ferguson (+150)
- Date: Saturday, March 4
- Venue: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
- Time: 10:00pm EST
- TV: Pay-Per-View (Call your Local Cable or Satellite Provider)
Both guys are heavily skilled ground fighters, with
Nurmagomedov possessing World Class wrestling and grappling ability, much like Ferguson, who is a Brown Belt in Jiu-Jitsu and a former collegiate wrestler. But Tony also has a major edge in high striking ability over Nurmagomedov. Ferguson’s boxing is sharp and he mixes in kicks and knees very well — and at a frenetic and aggressive pace, no less. Should “The Eagle” wish to swoop in and shoot for takedowns, he has to beware not only of Ferguson’s ground game, but also his heavy hands, which I feels gives him enough of an edge to earn the victory over the younger Russian, especially at a hefty underdog price of +150.