UFC 242 Khabib and Poirier: Two warriors ready for their date with destiny

UFC 242 Khabib and Poirier: The One True Champ Will Be Crowned

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Dustin Poirier

The one true champion of the UFC lightweight division will finally be crowned in the main event of UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi as Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov and Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier collide for their much-anticipated title unification bout.

Khabib returns to the Octagon for the first time since successfully defending his lightweight title for the first time against Conor McGregor back in October 2018.

He will face off against Poirier, who became the Interim lightweight champ after a unanimous decision victory over Max Holloway in April.

This fight with Poirier will have none of the animosity that Khabib vs McGregor had. Instead, SBOBET fight fans will be treated to a straightforward battle between two of the very best lightweight mixed martial artists in the world looking to become the undisputed champion.

Talking Points

Khabib’s utter dominance

Khabib has only been lightweight champion for over a year, but he has been as dominant a fighter as the UFC has ever seen. He has been virtually unstoppable since setting foot inside the Octagon and has imposed his will onto each of his opponents.

The secret to Nurmagomedov’s success is simple: he is a truly elite grappler who just doesn’t stop applying pressure on his foes. His strength and endurance are almost superhuman, allowing him to relentlessly take his opponents down and smother them into submission.

 As he showed in his dominant submission win against Conor McGregor, he will not give elite strikers the chance to knock him out; he will simply wrestle them to the ground and keep them there until he stops the fight or wins via unanimous decision. He has yet to come across a fighter who has been successfully able to stay on his feet amid his suffocating style.

His dominance is such that he has hardly ever been in serious danger of losing any of his 27 career fights. He is almost machine-like in his ability to execute his game plan to perfection in each fight he’s in.

There should be no surprise as to what Khabib’s strategy will be. The UFC 242 Khabib vs Poirier highlights will likely be filled with him doing what he has done for his entire career, which no one has yet to find an answer for.

Poirier’s dangerous power

Poirier certainly earned his interim lightweight title. After his no-contest against Eddie Alvarez in May 2017, he reeled off three consecutive TKO victories, two of which were against former lightweight champions in Anthony Pettis and Alvarez in their rematch.

And despite coming in as the underdog in his interim title bout against featherweight champion Max Holloway, Poirier dominated en route to a unanimous decision victory.

UFC 242 Khabib and Poirier: Who will be the best of all time?

UFC fighter Dustin Poirier of Lafayette, Louisiana, spars with a partner during an open training session at Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi

Poirier’s impressive performances have seen him awarded with a Fight/Performance of the Night bonus in five of his last six fights, with the one exception the no-contest against Alvarez.

No one can deny that Poirier possesses significant power and is capable of stopping just about any opponent in the division. But so did McGregor.

The main problem Poirier will face against Khabib will be the same one that McGregor — or any of Khabib’s other foes — was unable to solve. He will need to stay on his feet to stand any chance in this fight.

During his impressive run of wins, Poirier did not face anyone with the style and wrestling ability of Khabib. It will be something that will be very difficult to prepare for.

Perhaps Poirier’s American Top Team team-mate Jorge Masvidal can teach him the flying knee Masvidal used to score a stunning five-second knockout of another elite wrestler in Ben Askren.

It will most likely take something similarly outrageous to defeat Khabib, who will be very difficult to beat if he gets his hands on Poirier.

History

Khabib’s record speaks for itself. He’s a perfect 27-0 in his mixed martial arts career with eight wins coming via knockout, nine by submission, and 10 by decision.

He’s 11-0 since joining the UFC back in 2012, with six of his victories coming via decision, three via submission, and two via knockout.

As for Poirier, he is 25-5 (1 NC) in his MMA career, with 12 wins by knockout, seven by submission, and six by decision. He’s gone 16-4-1 since joining the UFC in 2011, with half of his wins coming via knockout.

What are the odds?

The UFC 242 Khabib vs Poirier odds unsurprisingly have Khabib as a significant favourite at 1.20, while Poirier will be the biggest underdog in the entire UFC 242 card at 4.12.

Given his sheer dominance throughout his career, it’s difficult seeing anything other than a Khabib win. His wrestling is simply unstoppable, and Poirier is unlikely to overcome the overwhelming pressure coming his way.

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