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01st Mar 2017

WATCH: Terrifying training video shows Khabib Nurmagomedov’s ‘Red Panty Night’ isn’t a certainty

He did THAT with a kick!

Ben Kiely

On Saturday, two of the greatest fighters on the planet will duke it out for a belt and a shot at the most lucrative fight of their life.

Despite having only one fight in the UFC lightweight division, Conor McGregor remains top of the 155 lb pile. With his eyes wandering to a crossover mega-fight against Floyd Mayweather, the UFC will crown an interim champion in what feels like an effort to lure him back for a title defence.

Whoever has that coveted golden strap wrapped around their waist after UFC 209’s co-headliner will have earned it.

Number two-ranked contender Tony Ferguson has tasted defeat just once inside the Octagon. Since dropping that loss to Michael Johnson, he has racked up nine-straight victories culminating in a stunning beatdown of former champion Rafael dos Anjos.

Standing in his way is undefeated Sambo specialist Khabib Nurmagomedov, whose dominance inside the cage has had many labeling him the rightful heir to the 155 lb throne for the last number of years. No one has been able to solve the Nurmagomedov conundrum in MMA, but El Cucuy believes his free-form jazz style of savagery is the perfect antidote for the Eagle’s grappling prowess.

UFC 209’s co-main event is arguably the most intriguing lightweight fight in the history of the sport and may just be the most high-skilled fight the promotion can possibly put on right now.

It would be unfair to call this a grappler vs striker clash because the skill-sets of both fighters surpasses these little boxes. Although, it is accurate to say that Ferguson is undoubtedly better on the feet while Nurmagomedov is at his most dangerous from the top position on the mat.

All the talk of the UFC trying to break into the massive Russian market coupled with Nurmagomedov’s air of invincibility might lead you to believe that him getting his hand raised and securing a unification bout against McGregor would be a foregone conclusion. However, anyone who knows the tools Ferguson has at his disposal and the unpredictable nature of MMA will know that this simply isn’t the case.

For those of you who are still writing him off, this clip of him splitting a heavy bag open during a kicking drill should be enough to at least convince you that he still has more than a chance at winning in Las Vegas on Saturday night.