Tony Ferguson Is Still The Closest Person To Defeat Khabib
No, you didn’t misread the title, Tony Ferguson is still the closest person to beat Khabib Nurmagomedov. It does sound mad after suffering such a one sided beat down against Justin Gaethje however the key thing to take away from MMA is that styles makes fights and in my opinion, Ferguson’s style is more suited against Khabib than Gaethje’s.
First of all, full credit to Justin Gaethje. The performance was excellent and showed off a champion mindset and skill set and ended a 12 fight win streak in such a one sided fight. He made Tony Ferguson look like he had a fight with Tony Ferguson and that’s not easy to do.
Last night we seen Gaethje put on a striking clinic however last time we saw Khabib Nurmagomedov fight, he fought Dustin Poirier - a striker. Gaethje can wrestle however he doesn’t show it off but even with an ability to wrestle, its going to show off his level against Khabib’s level. Ferguson however has stamina to go all 5 rounds and his striking can break Khabib down. Ferguson didn’t want to get in close as he’d feel Khabib’s power however against the grappler, he wouldn’t have that issue.
In a fight with Gaethje and Khabib, I think Khabib would tire Gaethje out with his relentless wrestling and make him submit either in the 3rd or 4th round but in a fight with Ferguson, Ferguson would work from his back - like we’ve seen him do before and he’d piece Khabib up and if he throws in elbows plus his body work, Khabib would start to fade. And when Khabib does go for a late takedown, I would expect a d’arce choke. These would be two completely different fights however that’s how I think they’d go.