Abdelaziz Questions If Ferguson Can Dig Deep Enough Against Gaethje
A huge matchup between Justin Gaethje and Tony Ferguson is expected to go down at UFC 249 in Florida on May 9th for the UFC interim lightweight title.
Despite Ferguson showing tremendous spirit by making weight for the cancelled April 18th card, Gaethje’s manager Ali Abdelaziz is still questioning whether ‘El Cucuy’ will be able to hang with ‘The Highlight’ at UFC 249.
Speaking to ESPN‘S Brett Okamoto (as transcribed by the South China Morning Post), Abdelaziz said he’s very confident that Gaethje will get the job done against Ferguson on May 9th.
“Tony Ferguson is an unorthodox, crazy fighter who come at you with different angles,” Abdelaziz said. “He’s a brawler [with an] opportunistic ground game. I’m not gonna say he have very high-level ground game, because we saw what Kevin Lee did to him. He mounted him and he almost took his back.
“But Tony, he hurt you, he catch you with submissions, almost like a catch wrestler. A jiu-jitsu black belt, of course he have great coach like Eddie Bravo. Without him it would be a 50-50 fight.
Even though Abdelaziz appreciates Ferguson’s skill-set, the outspoken manager doesn’t believe that Tony has ever had to deal with a ‘brawler’ of this magnitude before.
“Catch guys with submission, that’s Eddie Bravo’s style. I got to give respect to him, but realistically he’s fighting a guy who’s the best technical brawler we’ve ever seen in the sport.
“I have to remind everybody this guy (Gaethje) is a Division 1 All American wrestler. It’s a great fight for the fans, it’s gonna be chaos. Justin Gaethje is ready to die in there. Is Tony? Normally he is. We’re gonna see how deep he can dig, and Justin.”
Abdelaziz is very excited to see if Tony can deal with the one-punch knockout power that Gaethje possesses. Although Ferguson showed tremendous toughness in his previous fights against top-ranked lightweight contenders, Ali is eager to discover whether that same toughness will be evident against a guy that hits as hard as his man.
“It’s such a great fight stylistically. I think the last three fights we saw Justin switch a little bit. Trevor Wittman is one of the best coaches we’ve ever seen in the sport. He studies guys.
“Last three fights, three knockouts in less than five minutes, Justin didn’t take any damage. I wanna see how Tony can take damage. Justin doesn’t hit like Kevin Lee, Anthony Pettis, these people. When Justin hits you, he can put people to sleep. I wanna know how hard he can take Justin’s hit, because Justin is gonna hit him. I wanna know his recovery.”
After three consecutive first round knockout victories over James Vick, Edson Barboza, and ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, do you think Justin Gaethje will perform to that level against a guy like Tony Ferguson?