Khabib Nurmagomedov’s third-round steamrolling of Dustin Poirier on Saturday cemented him as the top lightweight in the sport, and continued to build his case as the best ever, but one interested observer was left unimpressed.
Nurmagomedov successfully unified the UFC’s lightweight belt against Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi, running his undefeated record to 28-0 and setting the stage for a long-awaited matchup against top contender Tony Ferguson. “El Cucuy” has already fired the first verbal shots, suggesting the champion’s performance over the weekend was lackluster.
The 35-year-old Ferguson, who is riding an impressive 12-fight win streak of his own, is the presumptive next challenger for the lightweight title. In an interview with ESPN's Ariel Helwani which aired on Monday but was actually recorded shortly after the event, Ferguson claimed that he was unimpressed with Nurmagomedov’s fighting style at UFC 242.
“Lazy, one-dimensional,” Ferguson said. “When I see someone pushing against the cage and not really doing much, just kind of putting themselves as a wet blanket. When I fought Danny Castillo, he did the same kind of thing. It’s interesting how Khabib fights, but to me it’s just boring. It’s lazy.”
UFC president Dana White confirmed that Ferguson will get the next title shot but also said he was open to the idea of Nurmagomedov taking on Conor McGregor in a rematch of their infamous fight back at UFC 229 last October which will be remembered by the post-fight melee that ensued.