This April 18, UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will be defending his title against Tony Ferguson. The fight comes after multiple cancellations, which have occurred due to injury and illness. The event will take place in Brooklyn, and it looks like it will certainly go ahead this time. —
This is the fifth time that the event has been planned, but it's only now that the two men are finally being bought together, with the fight almost five years in the making. They had been scheduled to fight in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, but so far, it wasn't meant to be. Now that the two fighters could finally be in the ring together, all eyes will be on them.
Khabib's current record of 28-0-0 shows that he is going strong, but Ferguson is number one in the UFC Lightweight rankings and holds the record for the most consecutive wins. Should the bout finally go ahead, it could lead to a rematch between Khabib and Conor McGregor.
Khabib is the favourite to win the fight and retain his title. Royal Kings Sportsbook has posted an opening betting line of Khabib at -263 and Ferguson at +214. Many feel that the fight is a significant threat to Khabib's career, and it could be a significant blow if he loses.
However, Nurmagomedov remains undefeated, while Ferguson is not. Ferguson has also struggled with some low-ranked opponents, whereas Nurmagomedov hasn't experienced anything similar in a number of years.
With such a highly-anticipated event that has been plagued with delays, many have wanted to have their say. Fellow MMA fighter Edson Barboza believes Ferguson will have the edge, saying that he has two key advantages in striking and creativity. Ferguson has beaten some of the best strikers in UFC, thanks to his long reach, great cardio, and technique. As well as having good stamina, he is known to be creative, whereas some see Khabib as being more predictable.
MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko has also said that Nurmagomedov needs to work on his striking technique. While he has had plenty of praise for his technique, he hasn't held back on offering some advice to the younger fighter ahead of the bout against Ferguson.
Meanwhile, Conor McGregor believes that the fight could fall through for the fifth time. While it does seem that there are forces at work preventing the event from going ahead, there is every chance that this is the occasion when finally they will get the chance to face each other. If it does fall through, McGregor could get his chance at a rematch.
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