Ben Askren still hopes the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson lightweight title fight takes place next month.
The pair were set to collide at UFC 249 on April 18 in Brooklyn, New York. However, with the coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions put in place, it will no longer be taking place, at least, in New York.
UFC president Dana White has maintained that the fight will still go ahead in a different location — likely outside the country — but Askren believes it can still take place in the United States even with the government’s suggestion of having no more than a group of 10 in one location.
His solution? Remote judges and getting rid of the entire UFC 249 undercard:
“The one thing I said last night was, let’s not get greedy, Dana, let’s make this really simple,” Askren told Submission Radio. “All we need is Tony and Khabib, we don’t need an F’ing undercard. So, in America they’re doing ten people maximum, you can’t have more than ten people in a group.
“So, you’ve got Tony, Khabib, three judges. But, you could also have the judges be remote. So, you don’t actually have to have them there. Your referee, you have Dana, you have Bruce Buffer and you have Joe Rogan maybe. Maybe we take the judges out and make the judges remote at a remote location and we give them each two coaches or something, or one coach. I think there’s a way to do it to keep it under ten people and broadcast it.
“It’s awesome. Please, please don’t cancel it.”
At this point, fans can only hope as Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson is a dream fight many have been waiting to see for years.
Askren didn’t predict a winner but believes the matchup is a fascinating one:
“I think it’s fascinating, that’s why it’s so exciting,” he explained. “It’s two guys who are really good at what they do, and if you were to design a fighter to beat the other person, that’s what you would design them to do, and so I think it’s gonna be really, really fascinating.
“Khabib’s obviously gonna get takedowns, and he’s been so dominant with ground and pound, but at the same time, Tony is so active off his back and he’s good with the elbows and he’s got a lot of tricky stuff. I think it’s gonna be totally fascinating, I’m excited to see what happens. Tony’s a great fit, because he’s not gonna stay put on bottom. Tony can take a lot of damage, which, you know, Khabib will dish it out. Tony doesn’t get tired and then Tony’s a high volume striker, he’s not a power puncher, which I don’t think is the right mix to beat Khabib, because I think you have to kind of fight him hard, stuff a few takedowns and volume strike him, and I think that’s how you’re gonna beat him, and that’s what Tony does. So, there’s a possibility.”
What do you think of Askren’s suggestion?