If you were to give UFC lightweights an anonymous poll, as to who is the one guy they’d rather not fight, chances are Khabib Nurmagomedov would be pretty high on the list.
Sure, Nurmagomedov isn’t known for bombing out his opponents with thunderous strikes, but no one has been able to battle through his vaunted wrestling game yet. Not Gleison Tibau, Thiago Tavares, Abel Trujillo, Pat Healy or even the champ Rafael dos Anjos. The man who cruised through now former champAnthony Pettis in March…
Thus, this is why Nurmagomedov’s teammate at AKA, Josh Thomson, recently told MMA Junkie.com the following:
“There’s no doubt about it (that he’s a future UFC champion),” Thomson said. “The current UFC champion right now is someone he already beat, and he didn’t just beat him, he destroyed him. He threw him around with ease.”
“Outside of getting caught with something like a fluke punch or fluke kick or anything like that, I really don’t see him being beat,” Thomson added.
Of course, Thomson is a bit biased since he’s friends with “The Eagle”, but the former Strikeforce champ isn’t the only one who’s making these types of comments about Nurmagomedov. Like in any other sport, however, coaches and fighters will continue to study Nurmagomedov, and they’ll make adjustments. It just remains to be seen if it will be enough.
The next man who will look to hand Nurmagomedov his first loss is Tony Ferguson, who will face the sambo champ at the TUF 22 Finale on December 11th. Ferguson has been on quite the roll, so it’s going to be an interesting fight.