Habib's Consciousness and Mendes' Concerns
Already on September 7, Khabib Nurmagomedov will hold his second UFC lightweight title defense defense at the UFC 242 tournament. After defeating Conor McGregor, the Russian opponent will be another bright drummer, Dustin Porrier, who has been going to his first title fight under the auspices of the Absolute Fighting Championship for more than eight years. The American made his debut in the organization in January 2011 and from that moment he won 17 victories, suffered four defeats, and another battle was declared invalid.
Porje has practically nothing to lose, which cannot be said about his counterpart. In the event of a defeat, Nurmagomedov will part not only with the title of the strongest lightweight in the world, but also with a zero in the “defeat” column. So far, the Russian has won all 27 fights in his career, with 11 of them in the largest MMA promotion on the planet.
In this regard, Khabib takes the most responsible approach to the training process and does not allow himself a second of relaxation. And this is despite the fact that he is considered a clear favorite in the confrontation with Dustin. So, the coefficient on the victory of the Russian is 1.28, and on the success of the American - 4.1.
“You need to stay focused all the time. Errors are not forgiven in this game, ”Nurmagomedov wrote on his page on the social network Instagram, attaching a photo from the audience.
One of his mentors, Javier Mendes, is confident in his ward. The head of the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) expressed the opinion that Nurmagomedov is in great shape.
“He is ahead of the schedule for weight loss and is absolutely ready mentally. I can say that you will see the best Habib regarding his last performance. I am sure of this one hundred percent. Any fighter of the highest level can surprise with his progress and plan for a duel. For example, as Conor did. However, Nurmagomedov is always ready for such surprises, ”RIA Novosti quoted Mendes as saying.
At the moment, Nurmagomedov ranks second in the ranking of fighters, regardless of the weight category (Pound-for-Pound), second only to the current light heavyweight champion John Jones. At the same time, Mendes said that his ward deserves to be on the first line, noting that this status can interfere with the organization of the fight with Habib in Russia.
“In this state of affairs, it is very difficult to really allow the tournament to be held in Moscow, I’m not sure of the feasibility of such a scenario. Of course, it will be great if he gets such an opportunity. It remains to sincerely hope that this will happen after all, ”said the specialist.
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Posted by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov) Aug 27, 2019 at 6:28 PDT
Mendes agreed with the opinion of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov that Porrier is dangerous only in the first rounds. The trainer also said that the performance of Habib's teammates in the tournament could have a negative impact on the champion.
“Of course, this is an important point. If any of them doesn’t go according to plan, it will be very bad for the moral state of Habib and the whole team, ”Mendes concluded.
Porrier Support and Barbosa Tips
For Dustin, the future battle will be unique for the reason that he will first appear outside of North America. He spent 30 fights in the USA and only one in Canada. The situation is complicated by the fact that he will practically have to fight on the territory of the opponent. Habib is very popular in Muslim countries, and therefore will receive great support in Abu Dhabi. At the same time, the American himself admitted that he was not worried about this.
“I think people will accept me much better than they expect. I think I have as many fans there. I am very happy about this challenge, ”the athlete expressed his opinion on the UFC Russia YouTube channel.
It's no secret that the Russian fighter is famous for his unique fighting skills, which he repeatedly demonstrated in battles with the strongest athletes in the world. However, Porrier believes that he is able to present a couple of surprises to his opponent.
“I’ve been stepping up the fight in the American Top Team for a long time. I think I will surprise this. I have not had any pain victories for a long time, but my jujitsu skills are at a high level. I will be able to show them in this battle, ”said Porrier.
The real surprise for the American was the attitude towards him from the Russian fans. According to UFC Russia, in anticipation of the fight, domestic fans are more supportive of Dustin than Khabib.
"Seriously? True? Suddenly. I think this is because of my fighting style. I will continue to fight in the same spirit. It's great. I guarantee that more people support me in Louisiana too, ”Porrier concluded.
Like Nurmagomedov, the main stage of Porrier’s preparation for the battle was in the USA. In anticipation of the main battle in his life, he did not change camp, preparing again for the American Top Team. It is noteworthy that one of his teammates is Edson Barbosa, who knows firsthand the strengths of Habib. In December 2017, the Brazilian lost to the Russian judge.
“We talked with him a couple of times (Barbosa. - RT ). He simply said that Habib was strong enough, but he was more surprised by his technical abilities: control, decisions, weight distribution, ”Porrier said.
At the same time, Barbosa himself believes that the fighters have an equal chance of winning.
“This is a battle between the best in the world. Undoubtedly, Dustin is one of them, and Khabib has long proved this. It will be a good fight, very interesting. The chances are 50 to 50. I think Porrier has everything he needs to win, ”the Brazilian admitted.
Tony Ferguson will be watching especially closely the main duel of UFC 242. Currently, the American is the first number in the lightweight rating and with a high degree of probability will receive the right to meet with the winner of the title fight. Apparently, the American does not doubt the name of the triumph, so he is already trying to provoke Nurmagomedov.
So, Ferguson published a funny video on his page on the social network Instagram. On it, he presents Nurmagomedov with a piece of the well-known dessert, accompanying it with the phrase: "This is tiramisu time." Thus, Tony once again recalled the once-existing problems of Russians with weight loss, and also rephrased his famous phrase: “It's Khabib Time (This is the time of Habib. - RT ).
As for tiramisu, this is a reference to their failed match at UFC 209. Then a few days before the tournament, the Russian had health problems due to weight loss, due to which he was hospitalized and the fight was canceled. After that, Ferguson laughed at his rival, saying that he regularly ate tiramisu in the last weeks before the battle.
Apparently, the American manages to not only make fun of his opponent, but also to train hard. As his teammate Jeremy Stevens admitted, Ferguson has been working harder than ever. It is possible that Tony is preparing to replace one of the fighters if one of them gets injured.
“He trains like crazy. Usually I spend exhausting long sessions when there is no one left around me. But with Tony, we somehow engaged in five and a half hours in the hall continuously. Mayweather style. A friend of mine said, “Hey, it seems we found your brother.” Ferguson and I just get off, ”Stevens quotes Allboxing on the Menace and The Man Show.