Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson co-headline UFC 209, and will be fighting for the interim lightweight championship. According to the undefeated Dagestani fighter, he considers his opponent this weekend as a far superior MMA fighter than the current champion in Conor McGregor.
“I think he’s much better than Conor,” Nurmagomedov said of Ferguson during the UFC 209 open-workouts. “Conor has very good boxing skills, but Tony has elbows, knees, unpredictable. His ground game is good, his conditioning is good. Maybe Tony’s boxing is not good like Conor’s boxing, but MMA fighter, who’s better? I think Tony is better.
“I think this is my toughest match-up, but we’ll see. Nobody knows. Maybe this fight finishes in first round? Nobody knows. I have tough opponents before, like (Rafael) dos Anjos, (Gleison) Tibau, Michael Johnson. These guys are beasts too. But Tony is a little bit different because his style make him different, and he have nine-win streak. We have to respect this.”
Khabib stated that McGregor has just received favorable treatment on his route to the top of the sport.
“I don’t care about (McGregor). You guys know his Uncle Dana give him gift. He jump over all contenders and he fight for the title,” he said. “I no understand this fight. He catch him a couple times, he go down, Eddie Alvarez. This fight, for me, is fake fight. We have real fight now. This is the people’s main event.”
While Ferguson has gone on the offensive by questioning Khabib’s undefeated record and calling it “fake” and “padded”, Khabib says he respects Tony’s 9-fight streak and his skills, but still expects to dominate.
“This Saturday,” Khabib started. “Hungry eagle is gonna eat house cat.”