Without doubt one of the most anticipated in recent fight history, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson have been marred in controversy as this is now the fifth time they are scheduled to fight. From training injuries, to cable related trippings whilst wearing sunglasses indoors, and that New York snafu that put Khabib out for a while. It all seemed good until now, no injuries in sight a few weeks and despite a pesky global epidemic, the UFC president insists that the fight is to still go ahead as planned.
Tony Ferguson, or “el cucuy” for his rather unorthodox fighting style, is currently only a 12-fight win streak within the UFC, with his most recent coming in the way of a TKO against a very in-form looking Donald Cerrone at the time. This fight coming a year after his knee injury that had put him out of the fight against Khabib, and showing no ring-rust or slowing down, he put on a spectacular performance.
Khabib Nurmagomedov is also undoubtedly one of the most dominant fighters in UFC history, and currently stands as the betting favourite going into this fight. Also on a 12-fight win streak, and currently undefeated within the UFC, he has previous wins over the likes of Dustin Poirier and the infamous Conor McGregor. Going into the fight as the current UFC champ, and also being undefeated, as usual the pressure is on Khabib to continue his show of dominant performances.
One thing to be said for these two though, is that they are catchphrase machines. When they get together it’s like a game of crazy bingo, this site lists a few of them – Tony saying something a bit wacky? Bingo! Tony wearing sunglasses? We’re already there. Khabib saying something in broken English? #1 Bull! As we draw closer to the fight, many will be looking out for the soundbites to add to the list of MMA memes, which may help ease people a little if the fight finds itself cancelled again.
No location has been announced for the fight yet, as different states in the US have declared that all sporting events are currently on hold or cancelled, and the Las Vegas commission is doing the same, preventing the fight from taking place in the state-of-the-art UFC performance center. It may be unlikely that we get any news about the location of the fight until the night of the fight, and as it stands it’s pretty much a certainty at this point that as with the most recent event in Brazil, no fans will be in live attendance. Whilst not ideal, as it is a spectator sport after all, the most recent UFC event that took place (Fight Night with Lee vs Oliveira) found itself trending on Twitter amongst everything else that is going on, and with such a high profile championship fight with two of the most anticipated and popular fighters on the roster, we’re sure the PPV numbers will be just as strong.
One thing we can be certain of, however, is that as we draw closer to the event, things will certainly become more heated. And not necessarily just with the fighters – as pressure is mounting for further events to be cancelled, UFC president Dana White has already been extremely vocal with various news sources stating that his best interests are as always with the fighters, the fighters families and their safety and well-being. And whilst he has shown a great deal in that regard, one could also understand any frustration from the man trying to keep his business in a balancing act during this time. With the last 3 scheduled events being cancelled, both the UFC president and fans alike are all in the same mind, wanting the same thing – a little bit of fight action.
Whomever you support, one thing that is for certain that we’re looking at a night filled with entertainment – whilst the main card is strong enough on its own we also have some other fighters on the card. Thug Rose is matched against Jessica Andrade in a rematch following their fight in which Andrade captured UFC gold. Other big names on the card include Islam Makhachev fighting Alexander Hernandez – Makhachev being a countryman and team mate of Khabib. We will also see Jeremy Stephens fight Calvin Kattar, with both having been handed recent losses against another Dagestan fighter, Zabit Magomedsharipov.
Obviously the big hope here is that the event is able to stay on track – however with Khabib returning to Russia, and now flights internationally being suspended, things are starting to look very interesting. Now this may indicate that we will see UFC249 in Russia, but it could also mean that the event is already leaning off the edge – we’re now just a few weeks away, with no confirmation in sight, so we’ll be waiting with baited breath hoping we can finally see this matchup.