'Khabib won't stray from his father's plan': Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov details son's strategy ahead of Tony Ferguson fight (VIDEO)
It will have been a long time coming when Nurmagomedov and Ferguson finally square off in the Big Apple next April, after no less than FOUR previous attempts to pair two of the best 155lb fighters of their generation.
Each one of those previously scheduled bouts fell apart for a variety of reasons but the man tasked with implementing the champion's strategy, Khabib's father Abdulmanap, says that, this time around, the stakes are higher than ever before.Also on rt.com ‘A dream come true’: Khabib opens own gym to train Dagestani MMA stars of the future
"Because this isn't the first attempt, I think it is one of the most important events in this sport," he told RT Sport. "It was planned four times and called off twice because of Khabib and twice because of Tony. Millions of fans are waiting for it. There's never been anything like this in UFC history. It's the most important fight in UFC history.
"It is important not only for me but for my republic, my country, and all our supporters."
It is now more than four years since the UFC first tried to pair the two fighters but, with each cancellation and the subsequent disappointment added to that, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov says that there was a silver lining accompanying the initial disappointment.
"Throughout all this time we were able to improve our skills in different aspects, especially striking technique," he explained. "We surprise [opponents] more and more each time. Javier [Mendez] promises to surprise this time but Khabib won't stray from his father's plan."
And as for the tools that the always dangerous Ferguson will bring with him to the cage, Abdulmanap says he is more than aware of what separates this opponent from his peers.Also on rt.com ‘I train with Khabib, I can beat anyone’: UFC lightweight contender Islam Makhachev
"First of all, he's got good endurance, a good winning streak. He's been caught, but he finishes all his fights with submissions, cuts or technical knockouts. He has a good arsenal, he is a worthy opponent and we are preparing accordingly."