Undisputed lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will face interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier at UFC 242. The fight will be for the undisputed championship in Abu Dhabi. Nurmagomedov captured the vacant title at UFC 223, defeating Al Iaquinta over five rounds. Poirier faced featherweight champion, Max Holloway at UFC 236, capturing the interim lightweight belt.
The fight was made official by the UFC on Tuesday via Instagram. Nurmagomedov had refused to fight until his teammates’, Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Zubaira Tukhugov’s suspensions were lifted. The Nevada State Athletic Commission reduced the ban’s of Khabib’s teammates in May, making the UFC 242 headliner easier to make. Abubakar Nurmagomedov also appeared to sign with the UFC on Tuesday, per Ali Abdelaziz on Twitter.
Khabib Nurmagomedov has been flawless in his MMA career so far. With a record of 27-0 (11-0 UFC), no one has been able to handle the Dagestani’s relentless wrestling style. MMASucka’s staff recently weighed in on who we think has the best chance to defeat Khabib, but as of yet, no one has solved the puzzle. Khabib’s most recent performance was at UFC 229 in the biggest fight in MMA history where he met Conor McGregor in a lightweight title fight. Nurmagomedov went on to win this fight by fourth-round rear-naked choke. The bad blood going into the fight and the aftermath arguably overshadowed what was a dominant performance.
Deserving shot at Undisputed
Few deserve a title shot in the UFC than ‘The Diamond’, Dustin Poirier. At 25-5, including a 17-4 run over two weight divisions in the UFC, Poirier has proved he has the determination to get a title shot. Debuting at UFC 125, Poirier made 11 appearances at 145 pounds before moving up to 155 pounds. The move up in weight rejuvenated Poirier’s career. At lightweight, he has a record of 9-1, including three performance of the night bonuses and four-fight of night honours. His most recent victory came against Max Holloway, which saw him capture the interim lightweight strap. With the victory over Holloway, Poirier put himself in the prime position to challenge the champion.
UFC 242 marks the third time the UFC has visited Abu Dhabi. It will also mark only the second PPV in the UAE. Although we know the event will take place in Abu Dhabi, the venue has yet to be confirmed. Headlined by Nurmagomedov and Poirier, we can expect more fights to be announced shortly.
The card already includes a heavyweight clash between #4 Curtis Blaydes and #10 Shamil Abdurakhimov. A welterweight bout between Belal Muhammad and Pancrase veteran Takashi Sato is also signed. Finland’s Teemu Packalen meets undefeated promotional newcomer Ottman Azaitar. Finally, Bruno Silva will also be making his UFC debut against two-fight veteran Khalid Taha.