The road to challenging for UFC Gold has been a long one, marred with set backs, for Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson. Khabib Nurmagomedov goes from strength to strength, beating top contenders and carving a place for himself at the top of the heap in MMA. But where does this leave Tony Ferguson? The man who many believe have the best toolkit to deal with “The Eagle.”
Dana White has shown interest in Khabib vs. GSP https://www.planetmma.com/2019/09/22/ufc-president-dana-white-interested-in-a-fight-between-khabib-nurmagomedov-and-georges-
Now Dana has stated that Ferguson is still next in line, no matter what happens, but things change, forces outside of anyone’s control. As a fight promoter, no pun intended, Dana will have to roll with the punches in the coming months. The sometimes random nature of the fight game could leave Tony Ferguson in the lurch yet again, with nothing but another contender fight to risk his standing in the division.
TUF 22 Finale, December 11th, 2015
Khabib injured his rib during training and could not compete. Tony was angry, but he soldiered on and put on a bloody war against arguably the best kicker in the game, Edson Barboza. Ferguson got the D’arce choke after walking down Barboza with a flurry of elbows.
UFC on Fox 19, April 16th, 2016.
This time it was Tony’s turn to bow out due to injury of the lung. Khabib went on to compete against Darrel Horcher and bagged himself a Unanimous Decision victory.
UFC 209, March 4th, 2017
The match up between Ferguson and Khabib had arrived. It fell through yet again, Khabib had failed to make weight, and the fight was cancelled outright. This pushed Tony Ferguson to coin the term “Tiramisu Time.”
UFC 216, October 7th, 2017
Ferguson faced Kevin Lee for the interim belt, after Conor went over to boxing to fight Mayweather. He would be later stripped of the interim belt in the run up to UFC 223.
UFC 223, April 7th, 2018
Both fighters made it to fight week in relatively good health. While doing his media obligations, Tony Ferguson took a tumble over some cables and injured his knee. This sparked a mad scramble for a new opponent for Khabib, which eventually ended with Al Iaquinta on less than 24 hours notice. Khabib claimed interim gold and later legitimized it by beating Mcgregor at UFC 229.
While all of the drama between Conor and Khabib was going on, Ferguson was fighting a much heavier opponent:
Tony Ferguson has come back from injury and personal demons and still wants the toughest match ups available, defeating Pettis and Cerrone all the while carrying tremendous burdens. He has requested Khabib at UFC 245 and by God, Tony Ferguson has earned it.
Ferguson is confident that his team has done their homework on Khabib:
“We prepared for this many times and he’s a good fight, but I know how to break that code.”
Ferguson believes that Khabib leaves himself open to counter along the fence:
“In Jiu-Jitsu we use that saying, “He’s a wet blanket.” (…) It’s boring, its lazy.”
In the wrestling department, Ferguson has answers that Dustin Poirier did not:
“(Khabib) “My father say if you don’t know how to dance, don’t dance.” Well shit, dude, if my Dad told me not to dance, I’m still gonna go fucking dance. I don’t give a shit. Like, straight up, you go no feet.”
Does Tony Ferguson have what it takes to defeat a seemingly unstoppable force in the Lightweight decision?
Leave us a comment below on how you think the fight will go down, if it goes down at all.