On September 7, Khabib Nurmagomedov held his second defense of the UFC lightweight title. At a tournament in Abu Dhabi, a Russian athlete got the better of Dustin Porrier and took another step towards becoming the greatest representative of this division in the history of the Absolute Fighting Championship. Previously, no athlete could defend this title more than three times. Thus, another successful duel will allow Eagle to catch up with such famous athletes as BJ Penn, Frankie Edgar and Benson Henderson.
Apparently, victory over Tony Ferguson separates Nurmagomedov from repeating the record. As stated by UFC President Dana White, it is the American who will become the next contender for the lightweight title and will face off against the Russian. True, for this he needs to agree to the terms of Habib and accept the fight when the champion wants it.
It is worth recalling that the athletes have a long history of confrontation. Nurmagomedov and Ferguson could meet in the octagon four times, but the battle broke down all the time. Twice this happened because of Habib and as many times because of Tony. The last time this happened in April 2018, when athletes had to fight for the vacant UFC lightweight title. A week before the show, the American suffered a knee injury, and the Russian took his chance and crushed the replacement Al Yakvintu.
If the fight does take place, then the fans will face an intense battle, which will be much hotter than the duel with Porrier. This is partly due to Ferguson’s rather sharp remarks. The American has taught everyone that he does not go into his pocket for a word, and recently he has been using every opportunity to hurt his counterpart.
Tony repeatedly joked about Habib’s love for tiramisu, and the other day on the air of ESPN he again spoke harshly about his opponent.
“What was Habib like in a fight with Dustin? Lazy, monotonous. When someone presses an opponent to the cage and doesn’t do anything particularly active, he behaves like a bore. We in jiu-jitsu call these "wet blankets." He will just sit there and crush. When I fought with Danny Castillo, he acted the same way. It’s interesting to see how Habib beats, but for me it's just longing, ”Ferguson said.
Former UFC interim champion praised Porier for his efforts, but noted that wrestling cannot be learned in one day. According to Tony, in this aspect he is much more skillful than Dustin, so he can get the better of Nurmagomedov.
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Posted by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov) Sep 9, 2019 at 11:12 am PDT
It is noteworthy that Tony decided to work ahead of the curve and himself challenged Habib to a duel. At the same time, the American once again joked with the champion, reproaching him for his love of junk food. So, after winning the UFC 242, Nurmagomedov announced his desire to eat a double cheese burger.
“If it depended on me, we would meet in December. I suggest it right now. We already said that about it. We'll let Habib eat our burgers with cheese and stuff. Enjoy, boob, not too fat, ”Ferguson concluded.
One of the most discussed topics of the tournament in Abu Dhabi was the appearance in the corner of Nurmagomedov of his father Abdulmanap. Due to problems with the visa, he was forced to miss his son’s fights in the USA, but in the UAE he was able not only to second him, but also to take part in the final stage of preparation for the battle.
At press conferences, Habib repeatedly had to answer questions about his father. At the same time, the head of the Russian Fight Nights promotion Kamil Gadzhiev noted Abdulmanap’s contribution to the success.
“Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov is the main character of the UFC 242 tournament held in Abu Dhabi. Khabib Nurmagomedov put his belt on him after the fight, giving his father a tribute of respect for the long and difficult way that he went to MMA,” Hajiyev wrote on his page on Instagram.
The success of Russian fighters was noted not only in Russia, but also abroad. The performance of Nurmagomedov and the company did not go unnoticed by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who organized a meeting with the champion and some representatives of his team. The audience with the sheikh also got his father Abdulmanap and teammate Islam Makhachev.
“I am very pleased to meet Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Thank you for the invitation and for the hospitality, ”Nurmagomedov wrote on the social network.