Preview: Anthony Pettis vs. Tony Ferguson
Tomorrow is fight day! To get you just a little more excited, we’re going to preview my choice for Fight of the Night: Anthony “Showtime” Pettis and Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson.
Anthony Pettis seems to be back. He’s collecting wins, even after facing adversity. This isn’t something he would’ve done when he was on his losing stretch. He seems to have a new mentality and has embraced his elite ground game, using it to submit a very skilled grappler in Michael Chiesa. While he hasn’t gone so far as to try a Showtime kick, his creativity in his striking is slowly returning to the former champion, and he will need every tool in his arsenal to beat a beast in “El Cucuy.”
Tony Ferguson just hasn’t lost. He hasn’t. He’s won 10 straight, with his last loss coming in 2012. He was stripped of his interim belt and he’s mad about it. He’s one of the funkiest strikers in the division, and his BJJ is also top notch. What’s most impressive about him, however, is his cardio: he cannot stop moving forward. He’s got an incredible gas tank and has used it to just outlast opponents, like he did against Kevin Lee. The worst he’s looked in his run was when Lando Vannata came in as a late replacement and cracked him with a kick. Other than that, he hasn’t shown much in the way of weaknesses. He is, however, coming off of a knee surgery and has made a quicker recovery than expected. While it could be a good sign, it could also mean he rushed his recovery and his body is not ready for the strain of a fight at this high of a level. Then again, he trains like an animal, so if he thinks he’s ready, he’s probably ready.
In order to secure the win, both need to just impose their will. They don’t have any category where they are significantly better than their opponent, both are former champions so the fight under the big lights will not faze them, and they both seem to have the right mentality coming into this weekend. This is, of course, assuming the fight happens because if either Khabib or Conor drop out, one of these two will certainly be plucked to fight in the main event.
For my pick, I am going with Ferguson solely because he just always finds ways to win. I think Pettis is truly back, but Ferguson has fought better guys recently and hasn’t lost in 6 years.
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