“Cowboy” Cerrone questions Khabib Nurmagomedov’s ground game

Despite Khabib Nurmagomedov's dominance in the UFC, Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone questions the Russians abilities on the ground

Despite being 28-0 without having faced much adversity in the UFC octagon, there are those who see openings in Khabib Nurmagomedov’s game. The undefeated UFC lightweight champion unified titles this weekend by submitting former interim champion Dustin Poirier in the third round at UFC 242. Nurmagomedov has merciless top control, and so far few have been able to hang with him on the ground. But Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone would be interested in taking the fight to the mat.

Cerrone faces Justin Gaethje in the main event at UFC Vancouver this weekend, and he thinks people have had the wrong strategy against Nurmagomedov.


“I think people need to welcome Khabib to the ground,” Cerrone told media on site at the UFC Vancouver open workouts, transcribed by MMAjunkie. “Come on in. Let’s go.”

Cerrone seems to think that Nurmagomedov would be highly uncomfortable off of his back. So far, nobody has been able to gain substantial top control over the Dagestani – which is what “Cowboy” would like to try.

“How does Khabib do on his back?” Cerrone said. “What if I take Khabib down? Who knows?”

Cerrone enters the fight coming off of a TKO doctor stoppage loss to Tony Ferguson. That fight snapped a three fight winning streak that included wins over Mike Perry and Al Iaquinta. Meanwhile nobody has been able to solve the Nurmagomedov riddle. His wrestling, takedowns and top control are more or less unmatched in the division.

While nobody has been able to hold Nurmagomedov down like Cerrone would like to, it’s a position that certainly opens up for opportunities.

Could “Cowboy” Cerrone defeat Khabib Nurmagomedov? 

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