At UFC 249, a bout between UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson is set to take place. The fifth time this fight has been booked, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn will be rocking if the fight actually comes to fruition. Over the past few years, everyone has been wondering one thing: who would win in a fight between these two dominant competitors?
Why not ask someone who has fought both of them before?
Edson Barboza, familiar with Khabib (28-0) and Ferguson (25-3), recently spoke to Helen Yee in a recent interview about the two fighters.
“It’s going to be a great fight,” Barboza stated, via The Body Lock. “I’m very excited for this one. It’s funny, because sometimes I think about this fight and say, ‘Man, it’s a good fight for Khabib.’ But at the same time, Ferguson is hard to fight because of his style. He’s a little bit different with everybody.”
Barboza (20-8) fought Khabib back at UFC 219 in 2017. While he lasted all three rounds, Khabib manhandled him on the floor. He did look impressive when on his feet, but the now-champion was too much for Barboza to handle. Against Ferguson at The Ultimate Fighter 22 finale in 2015, a younger Barboza went to war with “El Cucuy” for two rounds. Barboza was cut by an elbow and eventually forced to tap to the D’Arce choke.
When it comes to who would have the mental and physical edge in their upcoming fight, Barboza gave it to Ferguson, if only for his unpredictability in the octagon.
“I think Ferguson has a little advantage because he’s a little bit better striker,” Barboza went on to say. “He’s a little bit more creative. Everybody knows what Khabib is doing, but he’s doing it very well. Everybody knows, but nobody can stop it. But I feel Ferguson has a little bit (of an edge) because he’s more creative – you never know what’s coming.
Although he gives the edge to Tony, Barboza is just excited for the matchup. It could end up turning into a game of, ‘anything you can do, I can do better”, which could result in a fight of the year contender.
“Both guys are super powerful, but I think Khabib is more powerful, especially on the ground,” said Barboza. He’s a little bit stronger. But some things, Khabib is better, some things Tony Ferguson is better. That’s what makes the match very exciting.”