Khabib Nurmagomedov is less than two weeks away from fighting interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson in the UFC 223 pay-per-view (PPV) main event, which takes place Sat., April 7, 2018 inside Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The winner will be awarded Conor McGregor’s strap, which should still be warm when you consider the timing of the repossession.
Whether or not Nurmagomedov wins is a hotly-contested topic, but American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) teammate and UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier has a pretty convincing argument.
From his conversation with Bloody Elbow:
“Kevin Lee is an ultra-talented guy. I like Kevin Lee and think he’s a very good fighter. But, when you talk about top pressure and top control, he does not have the reputation for being a smothering top fighter like Khabib. He was able to take Tony down and get to the full mount, with staph Kevin Lee had staph and he was able to get in that dominant position. I think that would be the most worrisome thing for me if I am Team Ferguson. You cannot do that with Khabib, you won’t get up. You’re stuck there forever.”
Not surprisingly, “The Eagle” is the early favorite.
“El Cucuy” (23-3) won the substitute strap after submitting Lee at UFC 218 last October, while Nurmagomedov (25-0) punched his ticket to the top of the 155-pound mountain by crushing Edson Barboza at UFC 219 back in December.
Ferguson has been paired off with Nurmagomedov a handful of times in the past; however, ill-timed injuries and bad weight cuts torpedoed scheduled bouts at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 22 Finale, as well as UFC 209.
Third fourth time’s the charm?