Khabib Nurmagomedov’s coach believes Tony Ferguson will be a very difficult test for the defending lightweight champion when they meet in the Octagon this April.
The Russian champion will try to defend his 155-pound title for the third straight time as he clashes with the streaking and top lightweight contender in the headliner of UFC 249 pay-per-view event.
Regarded as one of the most anticipated fights in the UFC history, Ferguson is expected to give Nurmagomedov the toughest fight of his undefeated career.
Khabib is coming off a comfortable win against Dustin Poirier to stretch his winning streak to 28 fights while unifying the lightweight titles.
Ferguson, meanwhile, is on an impressive run of his own, tying the Russian for the most active win streak at 155 pounds with 12 victories.
With his unconventional fighting style, the American Kickboxing Academy coach, Javier Mendez, does not see Khabib breaking him in their lightweight title fight.
In a recent interview with MMA Junkie, Mendez shared his thoughts on the matchup, saying Ferguson is an extremely dangerous opponent for Nurmagomedov.
“He’s got incredible cardio and really, really dangerous with elbows,” Mendez said of Ferguson’s skill set.
“Extremely dangerous. The most dangerous lightweight in the history of the UFC with elbows. Unorthodox, very effective unorthodox style. He’s got the heart of a lion.”
The MMA coach also admitted ‘El Cucuy’ will be unbreakable inside the cage so he expects the lightweight pair to ‘beat each other to death.’
“You’re not gonna break this guy.”
“It’s not going to happen. He’s not going to break Khabib, neither are going to break.”
“I don’t see that happening. I see these guys beating each other to death before they break. They’re not breaking.”
“They’re not breaking, neither one of these guys are, so forget about that part. They’re not breaking. Now beating them down, that’s another story.”
Acknowledging His Game
To this, Mendez said he’ll do everything in his power to help ‘The Eagle’ find answers to Ferguson’s weapons.
“He can beat us down and we can beat him down. My job is to have Khabib beat him down, so I have to be on that side because I can’t be another side.”
“So we’ll beat him down and we’re doing everything we can to make sure that that happens.”
“And that means acknowledging how dangerous these elbows are, acknowledging how dangerous his submissions are, acknowledging how dangerous he’s with his cardio, acknowledging how dangerous he is in these areas.”
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(Featured Image Source: Instagram/ Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson)