Tony Ferguson Should Be A Tailor-Made Opponent For Khabib Nurmagomedov

Over the past half-decade, Tony Ferguson has shown a tendency to walk down his opponents in an attempt to get them into striking range. If he is successful, Tony will spend a few seconds feinting the left jab or using body movement to analyze the hand placement of the opponent. For instance, if the opponent places the hands at jaw level or higher, he will give Ferguson the opportunity to target the body and legs. This is because the opponent usually can’t drop his fists in time to block or deflect the strike. On the other hand, if the opponent places the hands below the jaw, he will give Ferguson the opportunity to target the head. Once Tony Ferguson collects the information, he will dart forward and attack the open areas. For instance, Rafael Dos Anjos maintained his hands at jaw level or higher during the first round of the fight. As a result, Ferguson featured a lot of right kicks aimed at the midsection and legs.

Due to this, Tony Ferguson should look to attack the head of Khabib Nurmagomedov. This is because Nurmagomedov has shown a tendency to walk down his opponents in an attempt to get them into grappling range. If Khabib is successful, he will throw the left jab followed by the right uppercut to get the opponent to raise their hands. When the adversary raises their hands, it gives Khabib an easy takedown attempt; because his foe will not have time to get the under hooks in to stop the takedown. Due to this, Nurmagomedov can quickly drop down to grab one or both of the opponent’s legs and start pushing him towards the fence. Once this process is complete, he will regrip the legs to attempt a takedown to get the fight to the ground. If he is successful, he will proceed to establish wrist control and try to land some ground and pound. Eventually, the referee is usually forced to stop the fight because the foe can’t block the punches thrown by Khabib Nurmagomedov.

However, one can argue that Khabib Nurmagomedov’s fighting style will be the catalyst for his first loss. This is because every time he moves forward to close the distance his left hand is always on the rib cage area. As a result of this, the left side of his face is continually wide open to be hit. Furthermore, whenever Khabib gets hit on the left side of his face, he freezes for a couple of seconds because he hasn’t gotten used to being punched. Therefore I would suggest that his opponents throw one or two punches to the left side of his face and immediately circle out in either direction. This strategy will force Khabib Nurmagomedov to regularly reset and go back to square one since he seems to be uncomfortable with being punched. Due to this, Khabib Nurmagomedov will start chasing his opponents around the Octagon in hopes getting a takedown which leaves him open to more strikes.

Unfortunately, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s weakness should be negated by Tony Ferguson’s propensity to dart forward as he attacks. Every time Ferguson dashes forward, he will be within Khabib’s grappling range. As a result of this, Khabib can just duck down to grab one or both of his legs and start pushing him towards the fence. Once this process is complete, he will regrip the legs to attempt a takedown to get the fight to the ground. If he is successful, he will proceed to establish wrist control and try to land some ground and pound. Eventually, this style will drain most of the stamina from Ferguson thus preventing a comeback on his part.

 

How To Beat Khabib Nurmagomedov

Kevin Lee Should Upset Tony Ferguson At UFC 216

Over the past few months, several sports books have Tony Ferguson as a slight favorite to beat Kevin Lee at UFC 216. According to bestfightodds.com, most sportsbooks have Ferguson at around -220 which means a person would’ve bet $220 to win 100. Although he is the favorite, I believe that Kevin Lee has the skill set necessary to pull off the upset at UFC 216.

For about the past two years, Ferguson has shown a tendency to constantly try to walk down his opponents in an attempt to get them into striking range. This trend has helped Ferguson win the all of his UFC fights because his opponents didn’t have the stamina to cut angles in the process of moving backward to avoid any strikes from landing. Due to this, some adversaries are forced to give into his pressure because they would attempt to cut angles and experience early fatigue from a lack of stamina which would put them in a position to have to exchange with him. On the other hand, some opponents concluded that they were better off trading punches with him because they were aware of the fact that they didn’t have the stamina to cut angles. As a result of this, Ferguson would have ample opportunities to get within his striking range and inflict damage on his opponents. During these occasions, he would faint the left hand in an attempt to get the opponent to move their head to the right or momentarily distract them which would open the door for the straight right to land. Furthermore, on occasion, he would run forward and throw a lead left uppercut to make the opponent think about multiple things throughout the fight.

However, Ferguson’s fighting style should play right into the strategy of Kevin Lee because Tony will already be within grappling range. As a result of this, Lee can drop down to shoot for a single or double leg takedown without having to waste energy trying to get the opponent into grappling range. If he gets a firm grasp of the legs Lee will try to complete the takedown in open space or push him to the fence to reattempt the takedown. Lee should maintain this strategy during the early rounds as it will keep him active while at the same time limiting Ferguson’s attack and draining his energy.