FRIDAY NEWS DIGEST 2/24: Tony Ferguson heats up trash talk ahead of fight against Nurmagomedov (w/Cervantes Analysis)

By Jonathan Cervantes, MMATorch contributor

Tony Ferguson (photo credit Etzel Espinosa © PWTorch)

Tony Ferguson is heating up the trash talk ahead of his bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov next week.

During the UFC 209 media call, Ferguson criticized Nurmagomedov’s wrestling and said his own skills are on another level. “I’ve got respect for where he came from, but my wrestling is far superior,” Ferguson said. “And my style is just completely different than his. My freestyle background — I’m going to run circles around this guy.”

Ferguson also claimed that he’d test Nurmagomedov like no else has, blasting what he perceived to be a “padded” fight record. “I’m going to throw you, from your head to your toes,” he said. “I’ll flip you upside down and everyone is going to see it. Nobody will be able to save your ass this time. I’m going to break your spirit. You didn’t do sh-t. Your padded record ain’t nothing.”

Ferguson and Nurmagomedov will fight for the UFC Interim Lightweight Title with the winner perhaps going on to challenge Conor McGregor, if McGregor agreed to eventually actually defend his title as is expected.

Cervantes Analysis: This is the classic striker vs. grappler match, and while I appreciate Ferguson’s confidence I don’t think he’ll be able to back this up. Nurmagomedov has the best grappling skills in the division, and though Ferguson is no slouch on the ground he’s delusional if he thinks their skills are comparable. I’m pulling for Nurmagomedov in this bout and if Ferguson chooses to roll with him on the ground, expect this bout to be over fast.

TUESDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…

-According to MMA Fighting, Cody Garbrandt says he “broke” Dominick Cruz in their bout.

-Frank Mir told MMA Junkie that he’d like to be released from his UFC contract to pursue career options in other organizations.

-During an episode of the MMA Hour, Junior Dos Santos claimed that Fabricio Werdum turned down a rematch between the two.

-In a TMZ article today, Floyd Mayweather said he wanted one gift for his 40th birthday – not to have to talk about Conor McGregor. He said he wanted to take his birthday off from the McGregor madness.

NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: THURSDAY NEWS DIGEST 2/23: GSP says today’s version of himself will beat prior versions and he’s ready to shine (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

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