Promotion of the UFC on the official website confirmed that the battle between Habib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson will be held on April 7 in New York.
The status of the match is about to be officially confirmed, but for the fans of the Russian fighter everything is clear now – Habib has finally received the long-awaited fight for the belt. Light weight will replace his king, who was an Irishman Conor McGregor.
Unfinished business of Habib
Since the day Habib was in the hospital instead of the weigh-in ceremony, he wants to fix the situation and go into the Octagon with Ferguson. The desire to get rid of the sharp American language was provoking day by day more and more. True, the “false”, to be exact, the time belt was of little interest to Nurmagomedov. Now the situation is changing. At stake – a title in lightweight (with a high probability – full), and anger at the rival accumulated with prosperity.
And it will be an interesting and uncompromising battle. First, it will be a great promotion. This will help and MacGregor, who, while not in business, will certainly pour oil on the fire. Will be poured comments with forecasts, critical statements about these or other technical developments of both fighters, and finally, personal impressions. Bookmakers, by the way, have already identified Habib as the favorite of this fight.
Perhaps the impression was the beating of Edson Barbosa, which effectively ended in 2017 and allowed Habib to return after a long pause in the matter. But Ferguson – a rival of a completely different level.
The American is one of the most dangerous fighters of the planet. He is 33 years old, in his assets – 23 victories, including 9 by knockout and 9 sabmishnom, as well as three defeats. He exhausts opponents and crushes them at the expense of incredible stamina. He has long arms, he is good at striking technique, but can present surprises both with painful and suffocating tricks. He perfectly holds the blow, owns a non-standard arsenal because of his specific anthropometry, and in the stalls is ready to work confidently even lying on his back.
Perhaps he looks more serious rival than the MacGregor upstart. Fight Ferguson with Nurmagomedov did not take place twice already, and thus became even more welcome.
WHAT PREPARES HABIB?
On the strengths of Habib can talk for a long time. In the stalls, he is excellent – and from the counter goes there very quickly. This is his element, and in this respect they perfectly fit each other with Ferguson, but this is where there is a certain risk. Both are hardy, both are motivated – who will beat whom in this fight?
If it really comes to finishing off – Nurmagomedov does it tough. In the battle with Barbosa, he proved that his shock technique was being criticized in vain. He does not stand still and develops – tightened his physical qualities, specially spent all three of the last rounds in the last bout to get past. Habib is strong physically, smart – all this makes him no less dangerous. But to such an opponent as Ferguson, still have to make a special training. Especially considering some episodes of the fight with Barbosa – the Russian has something to work on.
Here is what Nurmagomedov said about the potential battle with Tony:
– We have an unfinished business. If you remember, the UFC offered me a fight with Jose Aldo for the belt of the interim champion. I told them that I do not need a fight with Aldo, but I need a fight with Tony. Because this is a more interesting and difficult fight for me. If I fought with him three or five rounds, then people would remember that Conor knocked him out for 13 seconds. The battle with Tony is the most important. I was waiting for him then. And he said he would not wait one month to meet me in November, preferring a fight with Kevin Lee. He took the fight with Lee, defeated and took the belt of the interim champion. But inside his heart he knows that he is not a real champion, because there is me. I have 24 victories without defeats. I have not known defeat since 2008, almost 10 years. Who else is in the UFC with a similar resume? I’m not just talking about a light weight category. I’m talking about all weight categories. At the end of the year, I will show the world who is the best lightweight in the world. It’s not Conor. Of course, and Tony is cool with 10 wins in a row. If he wants to become a real champion, then he must beat me.
Meanwhile, Habib is recovering from the battle with Barbosa. He attended the NBA match in Dana White’s company, promising him reciprocal hospitality in Russia. And the fans are still guessing that the show is waiting for Moscow in September? So far, everything turns out so that it can be a duel Nurmagomedov – McGregor. At least, there are no contraindications.
WHAT TO DO MAKGREGOR
According to rumors McGregor is going to enter the octagon not earlier than autumn. That is why there was talk about the possible deprivation of his title due to downtime. Although at the same time the Irishman will have an option, according to which he immediately at the return will receive the championship fight.
This is where the plan is seen – McGregor will be prepared by September and will go to the championship fight. Obviously, with the winner of the April Nurmagomedov fight – Ferguson.
And if it’s Habib, there’s a mosaic here – Moscow, full of stands of a huge sports complex, a crazy PR campaign. It remains only to wait, what will happen next.