Pleasantries were few and far between on the UFC 223 conference call on Wednesday.
In the midst of an epic back-and-forth between headliners Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov, the Russian predicted that he will finish “El Cucuy” in Brooklyn next Saturday.
According to “The Eagle”, the fight-finishing sequence will begin with a left hook and end with a choke.
“I’m going to give him a very strong left hook — left hook, he goes down and then I choke him,” chimed Nurmagomedov when he was asked how the fight would come to close.
“So a rear-naked choke, that’s what he’s thinking?” remarked Ferguson in response. “I’ve got something planned for your ass.”
Following Ferguson’s retort, Nurmagomedov clarified what finishing technique he thinks will end their lightweight title bout.
“I’m going to give him very nice D’arce choke,” said Nurmagomedov.
Nurmagomedov managed to squeeze in some compliments for his foe, right before taking aim at his interim champion status.
“He’s a tough guy. He’s a good fighter, a very good fighter,” Nurmagomedov began.
“[He’s on a] 10-fight win streak, but UFC don’t give him respect because of Conor — Conor is still the real champ. [Ferguson] is interim champ, I don’t understand it, but he’s upset about this. It’s okay, Tony. He’s a great fighter, but his personality…I don’t understand this guy — he looks stupid.”
Nurmagomedov went on to say that he was preparing for Ferguson as if their meeting will be “the hardest fight” of his life.
“[As a] fighter, of course I do not underestimate him. I respect him as a fighter. He has very good skills. When I’m preparing I think it’s gonna be the hardest fight of my life, this is what I’m thinking,” Nurmagomedov said.
Many believe that Nurmagomedov’s main advantage over Ferguson is his relentless wrestling ability. He insisted that he will be able to get the win even if he isn’t able to take Ferguson down.
“This is an MMA fight. This is not grappling or striking — this is an MMA fight. We have a plan and we’ve worked on this. When the cage door closes I’m going to listen to my coaches, my corners and follow my plan,” he said. “This is why this fight is so interesting because nobody knows what’s going to happen.”
The AKA lightweight doesn’t seem to be worried about Ferguson unorthodox submission arsenal either, claiming he has never been tapped out in his life.
“All my life, nobody make me tap — nobody. At amateur, training…it doesn’t matter…I never get tired and I never tap.”