Khabib Nurmagomedov is preparing to potentially win his first championship at UFC 209, when he faces Tony Ferguson to crown an UFC Interim Lightweight Champion. Nurmagomedov would also like to break the arm of his foe, who he's been after for months.
“If you watch when I fight dos Anjos, Michael Johnson, Darrel Horcher, these guys are my opponents but he’s a little bit different than other guys. I want to break his face because I want to teach him respect. When I fought with Michael Johnson, when I took his arm for the kimura, I can break it but I go very slowly, be careful because I don’t want to give him injury. Because I understand [the] fight was finished. I need only to go a little bit slowly and he tapped. If Tony Ferguson gives me this arm, I’m going to break his arm like Frank Mir- [Antonio Rodrigo] Nogueira,” Nurmagomedov said to Fox Sports.
Nurmagomedov also says that despite his rivalry with Ferguson, his opponent is a good fighter. Nurmagomedov actually turned down a fight with Jose Aldo to face Ferguson.
“Yes he’s an impressive fighter. He all the time fights, UFC gives him ‘Performance of the Night’ but he never fights with fighters like me. He all the time fights with striking guys like dos Anjos, Josh Thomson, [Edson] Barboza, these guys are all striking guys. I am completely different fighter. He has to stay ready because I’m going to do what I do all my life, all my career. I’m going to do. He has to change something. Because he has to work takedown defense, he has to work to get up, he has to work to defend my ground and pound. He never had to do this — now he has to do this. Because if you don’t do this, I’m going to break his face, finish him maybe a kimura, break his arm so he has to stay ready,” says Nurmagomedov.
UFC 209 takes place on Saturday, March 4 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson headlining.