Khabib: Ferguson Is Better Than McGregor

Though Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson is one of the best pure fights that can be made in the UFC’s lightweight division, the shadow of Conor McGregor looms large over the UFC 209 matchup.

Nurmagomedov, however, is not paying McGregor much mind, and he actually believes Ferguson is the tougher opponent.

Whoever wins in Saturday’s co-main event will hold the interim lightweight championship, which means they would be next to face undisputed champion McGregor upon the Irishman’s return. With McGregor, though, it’s always more complicated than that: no belts or titles can take away the fact that he calls his own shots, and right now he’s more interested in a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather than a title defense against Khabib or Ferguson.

“I think he’s much better than Conor,” Nurmagomedov said of Ferguson during the UFC 209 open-workouts. “Conor has very good boxing skills, but Tony has elbows, knees, unpredictable. His ground game is good, his conditioning is good. Maybe Tony’s boxing is not good like Conor’s boxing, but MMA fighter, who’s better? I think Tony is better."

Despite the many questions he is asked about McGregor, Nurmagomedov insists that he doesn’t waste any time thinking about him.

“I don’t care about (McGregor). You guys know his Uncle Dana give him gift. He jump over all contenders and he fight for the title,” he said. “I no understand this fight. He catch him a couple times, he go down, Eddie Alvarez. This fight, for me, is fake fight. We have real fight now. This is the people’s main event.”

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