Can we get a hell yeah? After months of teasing, trash talk, contract disputes and speculation, UFC lightweight contenders Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson are set to collide at UFC 209 on March 4. There’s an interim belt involved, but nobody really cares about that.
This isn’t just a fight that both men wanted. This is a scrap that other fighters wanted to see. That fans were salivating over. As soon as it was booked I got hit up on Facebook, Instagram and text from a bunch of friends saying that we were ordering UFC 209 no matter what.
There is not a single other matchup booked yet that comes close to the excitement this bout is generating. There are SO many reasons why. And yeah, you can already bet on this fight at BookMaker.eu.
It Just Makes Sense
Check the UFC rankings, along with the rankings of any other media outlet. Nurmy and “El Cucuy” are the top two guys, in interchangeable order. Ferguson is on a ridiculous nine-fight win streak, and in his last fight he pieced up former champion Rafael Dos Anjos. He’s been trucking everyone put in the cage with him.
As for Khabib, the dude’s 24-0. Most people agree that he’d probably be the champ right now if he hadn’t been derailed by injuries that kept him sidelined for all of 2015. They equally deserve a title shot. But with McGregor out until at least spring, this gives both men the chance to stay active, collect a paycheck and lock up a completely undisputable title challenge.
The Trash Talk Is Already So Good
Ferguson has called Khabib a whiny little bitch who deserves an ass whooping. Khabib stated in his trademark Russian gangster voice that Tony “Little bit talk too much. That’s why I break his face.”
They’ve been fully engaged in a Twitter trolling war for the better part of a year now. From accusing each other of pulling out of previously scheduled matchups to face each other, to Khabib literally offering Ferguson $200,000 of his own money to take the fight, it’s been fun trying to keep up.
And while it’s been heated, it’s obvious that both men respects what the other brings to the table. You don’t win nine straight or go undefeated at 155 without being damn good.
For the latest odds: Check out our MMA section for live MMA odds.
UFC Betting Line Analysis:
Nurmagomedov (-145) vs Ferguson (+125)
The Russian has to be the favorite here. With the exception of Gleison Tibau, “The Eagle” has grounded every UFC opponent he’s faced and pounded them into oblivion. What he did to Michael Johnson at UFC 205 was hard to watch – it looked like a big brother beating the crap out of a helpless younger sibling for three rounds.
Strong wrestlers are usually favorites – and Nurmagomedov might be the best in all of MMA. I wouldn’t be surprised if he closed near -200.
A Quick UFC Odds Breakdown
Though Michael Johnson got annihilated, he did one very important thing: he lit up Khabib on the feet for the first two minutes of their encounter. It exposed a huge weakness in the Russian’s overall game and laid out a blueprint to beat an undefeated fighter.
Ferguson is even taller and longer than Johnson, and is an infinitely more unpredictable and creative striker. A strong wrestler in his own right, El Cucuy’s relentless pace and endless gas tank is just as difficult to prepare as Nurmagomedov’s elite sambo skills.
Fight Styles and Fight Picks
We all know that styles make fights. So let’s talk about each man’s approach. If you programmed the Terminator to assassinate enemies with wrestling and GNP, the result would look a lot like what Nurmagomedov does. His machine-like efficiency and brutality is pure nightmare fuel for opponents.
And I’ve said this before, but Ferguson is basically Taz from Looney Tunes brought to life. As soon as a fight starts, the guy is in your face with a whirlwind of every kind of strike and takedown imaginable. The best part is that he NEVER lets up, even when he’s on his back. It’s exhausting to watch – I can only imagine what it’d be like to fight a savage that would bite your finger off it was allowed.
Stay Tuned for More on UFC 209
We’ll keep you updated with everything going on, but for now circle March 4 on your calendar. During Fight Week, we’ll go into detailed previews covering every betting angle with the odds at BookMaker.eu.