MMA Ratings Podcast

September 5, 2019

UFC 242: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier Is Going To Be A Special Fight

By Adam Martin

This Saturday in Abu Dhabi, the UFC Lightweight Championship will be decided when champion Khabib Nurmagomedov takes on interim champ Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 242. The UFC built an arena on Yas Island just for this bout, and the card was shifted to an afternoon start time to accommodate the local fans. The entire card has been built around the headliner, and the Nurmagomedov vs. Poirier fight makes it a must-watch event.

Nurmagomedov and Poirier have been on a collision course for a while now. Nurmagomedov is the unbeaten champion, 27-0 in his MMA career. He has looked dominant against everyone in his path to date, and in his last fight he picked up his biggest win yet when he smashed Conor McGregor. From the moment Nurmagomedov walked into the Octagon back in 2012 you knew there was special talent there. That he's a champion seven years later isn't surprising in the least.

For the last seven years, Nurmagomedov has beaten all of his opponents to a pulp, with an ability to take foes down and dominate them on the mat that is second to none. He has the potential to be one of the sport's all-time greats if he keeps winning. It's now up to Poirier to shock the world and show everyone that Nurmagomedov can be beaten.

Unlike Nurmagomedov, who looked destined to be a world champion from the get-go, the same can't be same of Poirier. He entered WEC as an unheralded featherweight prospect back in 2010 and joined the UFC after it absorbed the promotion in 2011. Poirier started off strong in the UFC with five straight wins, but once he started to face a higher level of competition he wasn't as successful. Eventually the cut to 145 lbs was too much, and Poirier moved up to 155 lbs. It was a smart move.

Since he moved up to lightweight back in 2015, Poirier has a 9-1, 1 NC record with six knockout wins. When he moved up to lightweight, it was supposed to save his career and keep him around for a few more fights; turning into a championship-level fighter wasn't supposed to happen. Poirier's an example of a competitor who has proven that cutting a bunch of weight to make a lower weight class isn't worth it, but fighting at a healthy weight class is. Poirier is coming off of four straight wins and just beat Max Holloway in his last fight. It was a win that showed he can compete with anyone in the world, and that includes a fighter as good as Nurmagomedov is.

The Nurmagomedov vs. Poirier fight is a clash between two very distinct styles of fighters, as Nurmagomedov is the powerful wrestler and Poirier is the knockout artist. They have little in common as far as how they win their fights, but what they do have in common is that they know how to get their hands raised. Both men came from humble backgrounds to reach the pinnacle of the sport. Nurmagomedov may have done so in a more dominating fashion, but Poirier clawed and scratched his way to the top. However, it doesn't matter how you get to the top, only that you get there, and this Saturday at UFC 242, two of the best in the world will look to prove themselves and crown an undisputed lightweight champion. It's going to be an amazing fight, and UFC 242 will be a must-watch event because of it.

UFC 242
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier (UFC Lightweight Championship)

UFC 242: Khabib vs. Poirier takes place September 7, 2019 at The Arena in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.

Click HERE for more UFC 242 Pre-Fight Analysis

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