Tony Ferguson, longtime rival of UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, described the Dagestani grappler’s UFC 242 performance against Dustin Poirier as ‘lazy’ ahead of a rumored match-up between the two.
Nurmagomedov was successful in the second title defense of the UFC lightweight championship, coaxing a third-round submission from America’s Poirier in the main event in Abu Dhabi to extend his undefeated career record to an impressive 28-0
But Ferguson – the man often described as the Russian’s biggest threat at 155lbs – says that he offered up little more than an average performance.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani on EPSN, Ferguson summed up Khabib’s efforts in the cage as being “lazy, one-dimensional.”
“When I see someone pushing against the cage and not really doing much, just kind of putting themselves as a wet blanket,” Ferguson said. “When I fought Danny Castillo, he did the same kind of thing. It’s interesting how Khabib fights but to me it’s just boring. It’s lazy.”
Ferguson is speculated to be the next challenger to Nurmagomedov’s UFC lightweight title in the continuation of a rivalry which has been brewing for years. The two fighters have been booked to face each other on no fewer than four occasions, though each time the fight fell apart for a variety of reasons.
Khabib’s victory against Poirier extended his perfect professional record to 28 wins without defeat, 12 of those coming in the UFC.
Ferguson also boasts a 12-fight undefeated run in the UFC – a statistic which underlines the two fighters’ supremacy at 155lbs.
Ferguson’s most recent fight was a June victory against Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, with Anthony Pettis and Kevin Lee both defeated in successive bouts prior to that.
But with both he and Khabib clearly the current standouts in the lightweight fold, it is becoming more and more obvious that the UFC matchmakers must tempt fate and attempt a fifth run at getting these men in the octagon together.