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UFC 209: Ben Askren Outlines Why He’s Picking Khabib Nurmagomedov Over Tony Ferguson

Kelsey Mowatt

UFC 209

When it comes to wrestling and grappling, there aren’t many better in the game than Khabib Nurmagomedov and Ben Askren, and recently the latter shared his thoughts on “The Eagle’s” next bout.

If you’re a casual,  ‘just the UFC’ type of fan, then you may not be aware of who Askren is. Askren is a ridiculously decorated wrestler who went on to win Bellator’s welterweight title. “Funky” was so dominant with his wrestling and top game, in fact, that Bellator decided to let him enter free agency (since Askren’s approach to fighting wasn’t the mainstream fan’s cup of tea). After leaving Bellator, Askren signed with ONE Championship and he has won the welterweight champ there as well.

Well, due to Askren’s galaxy class wrestling skills, MMA Fighitng’s Luke Thomas recently spoke to the undefeated fighter about Nurmagomedov’s takedowns and ground game. It’s a really interesting piece, and if you’re a hardcore fan and enjoy reading up on the finer points of fighting, it’s definitely worth a read.

Not surprisingly, Askren heaped praise on Nurmagomedov’s wrestling and grappling. When asked to make a pick on Nurmegomedov’s upcoming bout with Tony Ferguson, Askren said this:

“Tony’s good. He’s really good. With that being said, I guess my general feeling would be as good as Tony Ferguson is, I don’t think he’s good enough to stop Khabib from implementing the style he wants to implement.”

“He’s so good at the wrestling and the control. With that, if you actually apply that, it’s so hard — you have to be at such a certain level — to stop it. If you’re not at that level, he just trumps everything you have. Even if you’re really good and Tony Ferguson is one of those guys, he’s good everywhere. He doesn’t really have a huge weakness, right? But he’s not really amazing in one place. Maybe I’m totally wrong, but that’s kind of how I feel.”

There you have it. It’s going to be fascinating to see what goes down. Nurmagomedov and Ferguson will battle for the interim, 155 title March 4th at UFC 209.


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