The White Belt Breakdown was notably on a bit of a hiatus in the month of September. We appreciate the boatloads of fan mail concerned about our whereabouts and I am happy to say we are both fine physically. Mentally, we have never been and will never be fine. As a site representing the best interests of the MMA community we went on strike to protest the horrendous UFC cards that were being presented to us. After UFC 216 it is clear to see that our movement was successful and thus we can continue educating our followers with one of a kind insight. I speak for both J-Man and I when I say we are glad to be back with you all.
Now that the housekeeping is out of the way, how about that Tony Ferguson guy?! After picking up a submission victory to win the Interim Lightweight Title over Kevin Lee, Ferguson is now on a 10 fight UFC win streak. Looking back at the streak, it is hard to believe it took this long for Tony to get his shot. The main reason for this delay is the person who will likely be his next opponent, UFC poster boy Conor McGregor.
So how does the fight look if it does in fact happen? Although Ferguson disposed of very tough up and comer in Kevin Lee, his performance Saturday hurt his stock against McGregor. When Ferguson fought Lando Vannata on short notice, he was rocked early on. He came back to win the fight, but there was a time where it looked very bad for the heavily favored Ferguson. Until now it was easy to brush this off because of the short notice. Unfortunately we saw the same issue with Ferguson on Saturday night. Tony Ferguson fights best when he is relaxed, but this takes time for him, he is a slow starter. Kevin Lee landed many good strikes early on, rocked Ferguson slightly, and even ended the first round in full mount. It wasn’t until Kevin Lee began to gas that Ferguson truly looked comfortable in the octagon. It is now clear Ferguson is a very slow starter.
Given this issue, Conor McGregor is an awful matchup for Ferguson. Conor is an extremely fast starter and comes out of the gate throwing punches that knock out the majority of the division. The one hope Ferguson has in the early rounds is his chin which has proven to be made of stone. The other advantage that Ferguson holds over McGregor is his ground game. Unfortunately for the interim champ, his wrestling skills looked far too weak to bring someone of McGregor’s caliber to the ground. If the fight were to make it to the later rounds I would be able to see Ferguson doing some damage, but in reality there is little chance of this happening. Conor should expose Ferguson’s long and telegraphed strikes very quickly en route to a TKO victory.
I am still very interested in this fight and pray that the UFC doesn’t follow the dollar signs to a Nate Diaz trilogy fight, but the sad reality is Conor wins fairly easily. Let’s hope Khabib Nurmagomedov lays off the desserts so we can see someone take Conor into deep waters.