Fight between Tony Ferguson and Khabib has been booked four times before, and each time it has fallen though for one reason or another. After Khabib’s UFC 242 victory against Dustin Poirier this is the right time for UFC to make this fight happen.
Tony Ferguson is known for having extraordinarily amazing cardio and fitness. However Tony also suffered a terrible injury in April of 2018. Since his return, Tony has fought twice and both fights ended in the second round. In fact, even his last fight before the injury against Kevin Lee only went to round 3.
The last time Tony went the distance in a 5 round fight was a decision against RDA in November 2016. That was 3 long years ago. Tony will also be 36 by the time he fights Khabib. This is generally considered past an athletes prime in terms of cardio.
So the question is, just how good is Tony?s cardio really? The truth is that his cardio hasn?t been tested in 3 years and the age wall is fast approaching. People are assuming that he is the same Tony as he was pre injury and when he was in his early 30s, but is that the case? I think people may be surprised that Tony may very well gas out by rounds 4 and 5. As much as Tony trains and believes he is ready, it is a different story when your in the cage with Khabib. Dustin has great cardio and he though he was ready also, but by the end of round 2 he was finished. Dustin is also much younger then Tony comparatively.
Also, how will Tony?s knee hold up over 5 gruelling rounds? Tony doesn?t spar, so the knee hasn?t been tested either over 5 rounds. Tony has been fortunate that he finished his last 2 fights quickly.
My conclusion is that people shouldn?t be so quick and certain to claim that Tony?s cardio is the best there is, when in fact it has been 3 long and arduous years since ANYONE saw his conditioning put to the test. Even then it was against RDA. Now he would have to fight a prime Khabib whose pressure and pace is crazy.
What do you think, who has better cardio, Khabib Nurmagomedov or Tony Ferguson?