American Kickboxing Academy head coach Javier Mendez agrees with us that the upcoming megafight between Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0) and Tony Ferguson (25-3) at UFC 249 is in some ways a fight of destiny.
Coach Javier says that the fight having fallen apart so many times has only served to build it into a much bigger and more important event.
“It’s like things are meant to be this way. They’re meant to be and that didn’t happen, but now it’s bigger than it’s ever been. So maybe it was meant to be that they were going to fight in a much bigger platform. And here we are,” said Mendez. “All you have to do is look at the sales.”
Nurmagomedov and Ferguson are the first fighters in UFC history to come into a fight against one another each with win streaks of 12 or more.
Although Mendez has had four camps in which he has trained Khabib specifically for Ferguson, he is not taking his opponent lightly. “Tony has gotten better, Khabib has gotten better … Look how good Tony has looked … And look how good Khabib has looked. We have to look at it like it’s a brand new fight.”
Not to toot our own horn too much, but Mr. Mendez also seems to agree with us in suggesting that Ferguson’s greatest threat is his skill in using elbows, calling Tony “the most dangerous lightweight in the history of the UFC with elbows.”
Mendez and Khabib have been very serious about the dangers posed by Ferguson. This caused a mini-drama on twitter, when Tony took exception to a post discussing a sparring partner who was brought in specifically to prepare Khabib for Tony.
Mendez, when discussing how he and Khabib are preparing, was effusive in his praise of Ferguson: “He can beat us down and we can beat him down. My job is to have Khabib beat him down, so … we’re doing everything we can to make sure that that happens. And that means acknowledging how dangerous these elbows are, acknowledging how dangerous his submissions are, acknowledging how dangerous he’s with his cardio, acknowledging how dangerous he is in these areas.”
How long must we wait? As of right now, 55 days. Let’s pray that Tony does not trip over any cables.