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Tony Ferguson - Khabib Nurmagamedov

I will go straight on specifics of this matchup, there is too much talk and speculations about situation in lightweight division, titles, Conor's return etc. 

Khabib was around 1.3-1.35 against Barboza and now bookies are giving 1.4 against Ferguson, which is not right. Everybody is fascinated by Khabib, it's hard not to be, he is mauling people left and right, his opponents looked helpless on the ground, totally beaten up. 
Khabib is 9-0 in UFC, six years so far, he had beat every opponent very dominantly. He comes from sambo and judo background, like every dagestani fighter, his father is one of the famous russian coaches. So, he is very strong on the mat, his tactic is to take opponent down, keep him there while constantly pounding. He has good cardio but had never fought in five rounds. 
Khabib's matches was pretty one-sided, he didn't have any problems in any of with them (I didn't watch that match with Tibau) and is considered the main candidate for the title from the most of mma followers.  

Tony is 14-1 in UFC, since 2011, only loss was against Johnson in 2012 where he (Tony) fractured ulna bone (forearm) during second round. Tony has very unortodox movement and style in general, he is very athletic and very unpredictable. He originally comes from high school wrestling, but in meantime he picked up boxing, he trained at notorious Freddie Roach's Wild Card Boxing and also Box'n'Burn gym, which is one of the best gyms in California when it comes to boxing, kickboxing, muay thai. He is black belt at 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu, one of the best and innovative jiu jitsu gyms in the world. 
Tony, on the other side, likes to take punches, it's part of his strategy, he was knocked down couple of times (Vannata, Trujillo, I think in Castillo match also) and many times was on the back on the ground. But his recovery is fantastic, coupled with his amazing cardio and determination to constantly coming forward really fucked up his opponent. He is really tough, he knows how to roll with punches, he has great conditioning (two five round matches, full match against Dos Anjos on higher altitude in Mexico where he was very dominant, and he submitted Kevin Lee in third round in second five-round match), and also he has great strength, I even think he might be stronger than Khabib, I see a lot of people saying Khabib is stronger and heavier, which I don't think is true, Tony walks around at 190-200 lbs which pretty heavy for lightweight, I think both are natural welterweights. 

What makes me choose Tony is that he is more complete fighter. He has great ground game, he uses knees and elbows to great extent, his boxing is better than Khabib's. Khabib on the other side has great ground and pound, has great wrestling. But that's it. We don't know how Tony will handled those situations because every Khabib's opponent hurried up to get back on the feet and Tony is probably one of the best in the sport in defensive jiu jitsu and Eddie Bravo (Tony's jiu jitsu coach) said that he will possibly stay with Khabib on the mat . Also, one important thing is Khabib's preparation for takedowns, he runs like wild bull trying to get people on the ground, pretty linear movement and one-dimensional which can be big risk against Tony, he could get caught with knee or some good punches. In addition to that Tony's movement is miles away from Khabib's, Khabib is very stiff and slow on the legs, and if Tony keeps moving Khabib confidence might be shaken with staying too much on the feet.
So to conclude, Khabib has elite ground and pound and wrestling, Tony is better in every other department and he is also very good on the ground and defensively, I think odds are way too much in favor of Nurmagamedov. 

Published: 01-02-2018, 10:03 CET Pick: Ferguson
Odds: 3.1 at Pinnacle


Category: MMA
Date: 08-04-2018
Option: 1X2 / Moneyline
Stake: 9 (tipster's average: 10)




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