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Morning Report: Khabib Nurmagomedov says Tony Ferguson fight revealed Kevin Lee has ‘very small heart’

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Khabib Nurmagomedov wants to fight Tony Ferguson on Dec. 30 at UFC 219. Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

With UFC London now firmly in the rear view, the eyes of the MMA world turn to next month’s UFC 223 and the lightweight title fight between interim champion Tony Ferguson and undefeated contender Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Ferguson won the interim lightweight title last October and Nurmagomedov punched his ticket to a title shot with a dominant win over Edson Barboza at UFC 219, that had everyone asking ‘Who can beat Khabib?’. Well, almost everyone.

In a UFC 222 scrum, the man who came up short to Ferguson for the interim lightweight belt, Kevin Lee, said that Nurmagomedov “looked terrible” in his performance over Edson Barboza.

“I wasn’t too impressed with Khabib,” said Lee. “I’m gonna do ten times the work on Edson. . . Khabib looked terrible in that fight. He was just barreling straight forward like a tank.”

Nurmagomedov beat Barboza by unanimous decision, earning two 10-8 rounds on two judges’ scorecards and three 10-8 rounds on the final judge’s card. Lee is set to face Barboza at UFC Atlantic City on April 21 where he hopes to do better than that.

Turnabout being fairplay, when Megan Olivi recently asked Nurmagomedov to talk about some of the top lightweights in the world on The Exchange on UFC FightPass, Nurmagomedov reciprocated Lee’s disdain, saying “The MoTown Phenom” doesn’t have any heart.

“He wants to be tough but he has very small heart,” said Nurmagomedov. “Very small heart. When he fought with Tony Ferguson, between second and third round, you guys can watch his face and understand everything. Face never lie. His eyes - when Tony Ferguson talks about, ‘This is my night!’ his face agrees with this.”

Nurmagomedov doesn’t have time to get bogged down in a beef with Lee though. In two weeks “The Eagle” will be fighting for his first UFC title, assuming the two competitors make it to the cage. Nurmagomedov and Freguson have been scheduled to face each other three times before but the snake-bitten fight has never yet materialized. Their most recent fight on the books was for an interim title fight at UFC 209 but Nurmagomedov was hospitalized due to a bad weight cut and the fight was scrapped at the last minute.

Ferguson is the interim lightweight champion and comes into the fight riding a 10-fight winning streak. Nurmagomedov is undefeated in 25 professional fights, including a perfect 8-0 record in the UFC but the title situation is murky because Conor McGregor still holds the undisputed title. All indications are that the bout between Ferguson and Nurmagomedov will be for the real title and that the UFC will strip McGregor before UFC 223.


MUST-READ STORIES

Results. Volkov’s big upset and the rest of the results from UFC London.

Do it. Francis Ngannou responds to Derrick Lewis’ callout: ‘I’m here now.’

Chinny. Alexander Gustafsson on ‘chinny’ Luke Rockhold comments: ‘I just go by facts.’

Angry. Raquel Pennington: Amanda Nunes vs. Cris Cyborg talks ‘pi**ed me off.’


VIDEO STEW

The promos for this one are sick.

Free fight.

Bellator free fight for you.

Bob Arum on Mayweather in MMA.

Gameplay video of Dana in EA UFC.

T-Wood and Mayweather.

Gervonta Davis is insane.

Dern’s hype train.


LISTEN UP

Luke Thomas. Immediate post-fight reaction to UFC London.

6th Round. Immediate post-fight reaction to UFC London.

Severe MMA. Talking UFC London, Cage Warriors Super Saturday, UFC Liverpool, CM Punk.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Yes, please.

Classiest guy in the sport.

Respect.

Good win on Saturday.

Statement.

Shots fired.

Cindy Dandois has miles of heart but if the UFC does this, she might not have a head afterwards.

Picking fights.

Dang.

Lol.

Oof.

I seriously have no idea what is even happening here.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Derek Anderson (14-3) vs. Zak Bucia (18-9); Bellator 197, April 13.

Andrei Arlovski (27-15, 1 NC) vs. Tai Tuivasa (7-0); UFC 225, June 9.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2011: Jon Jones became the youngest champion in UFC history, stopping Mauricio Rua to claim the light heavyweight title at UFC 128.


FINAL THOUGHTS

And so was the end of Fabricio Werdum’s run as an elite heavyweight. If Werdum wants to keep fighting, that’s perfectly fine, but at 41 years old and nothing left to fight for other than a paycheck, if he chose to hang em up right now, that wouldn’t be the worst idea. He’s, at worst, one of the three best heavyweights ever and an excellent boomerangist. No shame in walking away with that as your resume.

I hope everyone enjoyed the fights this weekend, and I hope everyone is ready for the long build towards UFC 223. Two weeks with no UFC or Bellator. We’re about to get a lot of lightweight promos. Nobody talk about the main event though, don’t want to jinx it.

Take it easy and see y’all tomorrow


EXIT POLL

Poll

Who would you like to see Volkov fight next?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Winner of Miocic-Cormier
    (266 votes)
  • 4%
    Derrick Lewis
    (88 votes)
  • 13%
    Francis Ngannou
    (241 votes)
  • 66%
    Winner of Blaydes-Overeem
    (1177 votes)
1772 votes total Vote Now

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