Khabib Nurmagomedov impressed many with his performance against Dustin Poirier this past week — except for one Tony Ferguson.
Nurmagomedov defended his lightweight title for a second time when he submitted Poirier in the third round of their UFC 242 headliner on Saturday. Many in the combat sports world now want to see him square off against Ferguson in what is one of the most highly-anticipated matchups in recent years.
So what did “El Cucuy” think of Nurmagomedov’s performance in Abu Dhabi?
“Lazy. One-dimensional,” Ferguson said when asked about Nurmagomedov’s performance by Ariel Helwani. “Nothing against him, both guys did an awesome fight week. I know there was a lot of nerves and stuff. Khabib showed up, he obviously won, put the pressure on Dustin and Dustin didn’t have an answer for it. Props to Khabib for winning but like I said, it’s lazy. We’ve prepared for this guy many times. He’s a good fighter but I know how to break that goat.”
Ferguson’s comments may come as surprising to some, especially given the pressure Nurmagomedov put on Poirier. However, Ferguson explained further:
“Well, being my type of fighter, I throw a lot of barrage of punches, kicks, knees and elbows,” he explained. “So when I see someone pushing against the cage and not really doing too much, being active and just kind of putting themselves as a wet blanket. In jiu-jitsu, we use that saying. He’s a wet blanket, just sitting there. It’s a lot of pressure. …It’s interesting how Khabib fights but to me, it’s just boring, it’s lazy.
“With him, I see a lot of holes in his game. But he’s got a high level team with him and they know what they’re dealing with so they’re going to go to the drawing board and try to fix those holes. I think Dustin was in awe during fight week. Probably just a culture shock. It was probably a lot for both fighters. With that being said, in the next fight you’re probably going to have one of the best Khabibs you’ve ever seen. So they’re going to fix a lot of holes in his game.”
What do you think of Ferguson’s assessment?