UFC – Justin Gaethje: Tony Ferguson Is Harder To Figure Out Than Khabib
UFC lightweight contender Justin Gaethje is currently on a three-fight winning streak, all by first round knockout. And when you take into account he’s won Performance of the Night bonus awards in all six of his UFC bouts, you can understand why his nickname is “The Highlight’. Coming off a win over ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone at UFC Vancouver last September, the 31 year old is now scheduled to fight Tony Ferguson for the interim lightweight title at UFC 249 on May 9th.
Speaking to MMA Fighting, Gaethje acknowledged Ferguson’s distinctive and dangerous style, but believes he has the antidote for it.
“I’m going to get elbowed. I’d be a fool to go in there and think I’m going to get out of there unscathed,” Gaethje said. “Nine of ten times, that’s not going to happen.
“We have seen him get hit, we’ve never seen him get finished,” Gaethje continued. “No one ever put Edson to sleep like he did it. I know how hard it’s going to be to find the shot, but it only takes one, and I possess the skills and the power to land it. Tony is a very unique fighter, and it’s going to take time and patience to figure out how to be successful.”
If Gaethje wins the fight against Ferguson, he will take on the undefeated lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, for the unification of belts. The 31-year-old broke down both of their fighting styles and concluded that Ferguson presents him with many unknowns, that he will have to deal with on the spot, unlike Khabib, whose game is well-known.
“I think the puzzle is going to be harder. There’s so many unknowns with Tony,” Gaethje said. “You know what Khabib is going to do, and that’s going to be take you down, try to push you against the fence. And if not, he’s going to try and take shots from the space in the middle of the Octagon.
“I believe that he can’t take me down in the middle of the Octagon, and I can stay off the fence. So that puzzle is written. How do you beat Tony? I don’t know. I’m going to find out.”
‘The Highlight’ is already setting the narrative which would unite the fans on his side, if he spoils the long anticipated matchup between Ferguson and Khabib by defeating ‘El Cucuy’.
“That’s all I dream about is the opportunity to prove I’m the best,” Gaethje said. “But yeah, they’ve got some very personal issues. I’ve got nothing to do with that. But we’re fighting for the right to represent the United States of America against Russia’s best.
“I believe it’s hard for the United States to get behind one fighter, because we’re such a melting pot and we’re from so many places. But I believe that I can possibly bring us together and go to war with the United States behind me, and that’s huge.”
Do you think Justin Gaethje will manage to end Tony Ferguson’s twelve-fight winning streak on Saturday night at UFC 249?