Tony Ferguson: UFC told me I'm fighting Khabib-Poirier victor

Ross Houston
September 10, 2019

That Wahlberg line is undoubtedly a reference to McGregor's public challenge against Mark Wahlberg for his shares in the privately owned UFC, something the fighter has long coveted.

However, the lightweight champion does not share that same sentiment. But the champion doesn't think this has any significance going into the fight. "I always think like this", Khabib Nurmagomedov said on the UFC 242 media call.

"I really want him to fight with Stipe Miocic rematch and finish his career", Nurmagomedov said. "I can't make this decision alone". And ring rust is a thing people touch around, a word people touch around, but I think it's more individualized. He has good grappling.

"They all come because of me, they don't come because of Dustin, that's why I feel a little bit of pressure, because I can not lose, I have to win".

"He is not bad on [the] ground, he is not bad on feet, his kicking, knee, punching, footwork".

While this would certainly raise pulses of fight fans around the world, Khabib, in his own understated way, is keeping things very much in the present. "We talked with him about my fight, we talk about his fight, about his father, but I just try to give him good energy..."

"I won't be surprised - I said this about England, I said this about Australia, Canada and every country we have gone to - there will be a champion from the Middle East probably within the next six to seven years". "Almost 100 days, last 100 days, I train so hard for this fight. This is a fight and in the last nearly 100 days I trained so hard to focus on 25 hard minutes". "I'm not underestimating this guy".

In a card filled with thirteen fights in total, there's heavyweight interest with Curtis Blaydes taking on Russian veteran Shamil Abdurakhimov, while the pick of the women's division fights is Scotland's Joanne Calderwood taking on fellow flyweight up against Andrea Lee.

In the end, Khabib Nurmagomedov knows defending his belt, and possibly going 28-0 on Saturday will be easier said than done.

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