The world was never lucky enough to receive a matchup between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson. However, Khabib’s protege, Islam Makhachev, could essentially fill the void and give fans a matchup against Ferguson. However, the match would still leave a desire to see Nurmagomedov in action once again.
Islam Comparisons to Khabib
Islam Makhachev is virtually being billed as “Khabib 2.0.” Throughout the buildup to his primary event fight against Thiago Moises, promotional pieces compared fight metrics between Islam and Khabib. From takedown percentage to strike accuracy, various media outlets continuously showcase how well Islam stacks up to Nurmagomedov. Thankfully for Makhachev, he doesn’t mind the comparisons.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) July 18, 2021
“If somebody says I’m almost the same as Khabib, I agree with this,” Makhachev said. “I want to be like Khabib. He’s a great man, he’s a champion, he has a lot of money and he has everything, but he’s still a humble guy.
Freak accidents and global viral disasters caused the Khabib versus Tony fight to fall out on five separate occasions. Consequently, their rivalry can be boiled down to Ferguson believing that Khabib’s record is padded. Meanwhile, Nurmagomedov never thought of Ferguson as an elite fighter.
Makhachev versus Ferguson
UFC President Dana White tried to convince Khabib out of retirement since his declaration. However, Khabib stated that once he was done, he would stick to his word.
Makhachev is ready to face Ferguson not only himself but to prove that he and Khabib are better than Tony. He spoke at the UFC Vegas 31 post-fight press conference about the next possible matchups in his career.
“If they gonna give me a choice, let’s do it with Tony,” Makhachev said. “Because we have good history with him. Khabib was supposed to fight with him five, six times? Let’s finish this, you know? I’m going to finish this. And I’m going to show people around the world Tony not Khabib level. People don’t understand how Khabib had pressure. I cannot explain to you guys but you know everything.”
Would fans like to see Makhachev take on Tony Ferguson and avenge Khaibib? Or, would fans want to see Islam face someone else?