Though it is still several months away, the hype for Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson is already starting to get underway.
Up to this point, Khabib vs. Tony has been the most snakebitten fight in MMA history. Four times the two have been set to face each other and four times the bout has fallen through, twice due to Khabib withdrawing and twice due to Ferguson withdrawing. Now, for the fifth time the UFC has scheduled the elusive bout, for the main event of UFC 249, and should nothing intervene this time and the fight actually does take place, Khabib’s father and coach, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, believes it will be the most important fight in the history of the UFC.
“Because this isn’t the first attempt, I think it is one of the most important events in this sport,” Abdulmanap told RT Sport recently. “It was planned four times and called off twice because of Khabib and twice because of Tony. Millions of fans are waiting for it. There’s never been anything like this in UFC history. It’s the most important fight in UFC history. It is important not only for me but for my republic, my country, and all our supporters.”
While most important is subjective, the fight certainly is unprecedented. Assuming everything goes according to plan, UFC 249 will mark the first time two fighters have met while sporting double-digit winning streaks in the organization. Both Ferguson and Khabib have won their last 12 fights in the UFC, streaks which put each of them in a tie for third, all time. This kind of thing could only happen because of the numerous interruptions to the fight, circumstances which are unlikely to manifest themselves again, with other top contenders.
But though the repeated delays of Ferguson vs. Khabib have been disheartening for MMA fans, it has proven useful for Nurmagomedov. Khabib and Tony were first set to face each other in December of 2015 at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale, and in the four years since the bout was first proposed, Abdulmanap says his son has turned into a much more complete fighter than he was back then.
“Throughout all this time we were able to improve our skills in different aspects, especially striking technique,” Abdulmanap added. “We surprise [opponents] more and more each time. [Coach] Javier [Mendez] promises to surprise this time but Khabib won’t stray from his father’s plan.”
Abdulmanap’s plan will almost certainly feature liberal amounts of taking Ferguson down and punching him in the face; it’s the same plan that has carried Khabib to a perfect 28-0 record and the UFC lightweight title. But it’s a plan that may not work on the unorthodox and creative Ferguson. One does not get to a 12-fight winning streak in the best division in the sport idly, and Abdulmanap knows it. The elder Nurmagomedov says they know just how good Ferguson is and are preparing accordingly.
“First of all, he’s got good endurance, a good winning streak,” Abdulmanap concluded. “He’s been caught, but he finishes all his fights with submissions, cuts or technical knockouts. He has a good arsenal, he is a worthy opponent and we are preparing accordingly.”
UFC 249 is set to take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY on April 18, 2020.
Serious. Owen Roddy: Conor McGregor’s UFC 246 camp ‘regimented’ compared to ‘sporadic’ Khabib Nurmagomedov prep.
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Location, location, location. Glover Teixeira, Anthony Smith down to fight, but disagree on location.
Ratings. UFC Washington D.C. turned in excellent ratings over the weekend.
Amanda Nunes’ journey to UFC champion.
AoaF, UFC 245.
UFC 245 fight week - Volkanovski.
Most controversial decisions in MMA history.
Anik & Florian. Recapping UFC Washington D.C. and previewing UFC 245.
UFC Unfiltered. Interviews with Kamaru Usman, Dominick Reyes, and Sayif Saud.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Big time homecoming for Jairzinho.
Holy smokes. Look at the reception at the airport when @JairRozenstruik landed in his native Suriname last night. Incredible. @LouDiBono pic.twitter.com/CSWsr0dIus— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 10, 2019
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Probably i Cracked his rib kicking . New facts about my last fight for all of you guys. even fighting twice with my broken biceps tent since 2018 because I needed to rise to the title... Finally I did surgery, and now I’m back most dangerous than ever. @teamborracha_oficial Curiosidades sobre minha última luta para muitos que não sabiam ainda. Relatório médico após a nossa luta suspende Romero por 6 meses por fratura na costela. Caneladas e socos na linha de cintura causaram estragos. Eu precisava operar meu tendão do bíceps desde 2018 , mas como precisava lutar para chegar ao cinturão fiz duas lutas com bíceps parcialmente rompido, só agora resolvi passar pela cirurgia para solucionar esse problema. Estou voltando em breve , mais perigoso que antes.
Seems like Durinho is unhappy with Tyron Woodley.
Former champ, get a beating lost the belt, don’t wants to fight nobody, decline fights after fights! Still N1 contender in the Rankings? Why? Wtf ♂️— GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) December 11, 2019
Good guy, Sean O’Malley.
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EXCITING UPDATE! Raising Special Kids was incredibly honored to receive a very generous donation today from Mr. Sean O’Malley @sugaseanmma ! Sean is not your average visitor to the office, he is an MMA fighter and video game enthusiast who placed 8th in the Fortnite World Series and donated all of his winnings to Raising Special Kids. We are thankful for his big heart and humbling generosity. Thank you Sean! Your donation will directly support Arizona special needs families #raisingspecialkids #standupforfamilies
Bryce Mitchell is so thoughtful.
Ima bring you a squirrel pot pie when I see ya Ariel— Bryce Mitchell (@ThugnastyMMA) December 10, 2019
Thanks?— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 10, 2019
You gonna love it. Ima kill it myself— Bryce Mitchell (@ThugnastyMMA) December 10, 2019
No no please it’s ok I’m good thank you— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 10, 2019
I insist pic.twitter.com/GRAfnQX02Q— Bryce Mitchell (@ThugnastyMMA) December 10, 2019
Can’t believe Lauzon wasn’t a black belt already.
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So this happened today. Thanks to everyone from fight dad Joe Pomfret to @dannysaverybjjofficial to everyone else that has spent time on the mat with me. Whether I smashed you or you smashed me, we both always got better... and that’s what’s awesome about #BJJ, so thank you.
UFC with a Christmas themed photo shoot.
Will they be receiving gold this holiday? #UFC245 pic.twitter.com/54cViaD33D— UFC (@ufc) December 11, 2019
Brent Primus (9-1) vs. Peter Queally (12-5-1); Bellator Dublin, Feb. 22.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
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