UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has made his prediction for the imminent rematch between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
McGregor and Poirier will meet in the main event of UFC 257 on Saturday night in Abu Dhabi. The fight, which will occur at lightweight, will be a rematch of a 2014 featherweight fight that McGregor won by first-round knockout.
Speaking on a recent episode of Dana White’s Lookin’ For a Fight, Nurmagomedov made his prediction for this anticipated lightweight matchup.
— Jed I. Goodman (@jedigoodman) January 22, 2021
“Early it’s Conor, but third round, number four, I think Dustin can beat this guy,” Nurmagomedov, who will be sitting cage-side for the fight, said.
While this is not a particularly bold prediction—the consensus seems to be that McGregor should be favored early, and Poirier has better chances down the stretch—it’s certainly interesting to hear what Nurmagomedov is thinking. The unbeaten Russian holds victories over both men, having defeat McGregor by fourth-round submission in 2018, and Poirier by third-round submission a little under one year later.
While Nurmagomedov is not fighting at UFC 257, his is a name that will be on many people’s tongues before, during and after the card.
The lightweight champion announced his retirement from MMA after an October defeat of Justin Gaethje. Despite that announcement, UFC President Dana White has claimed that there’s a chance Nurmagomedov will fight again, ostensibly if McGregor or Poirier can wow him at UFC 257.
Then again, Nurmagomedov recently issued a counter to that claim from White, assuring that he has no plans to fight again—regardless of what happens this weekend.
“I have achieved almost everything in this sport and there isn’t someone I would like to fight now,” Nurmagomedov told Sport24 after meeting with White (via MMA Mania). “A lot of people don’t want to understand my side. I don’t see that yet. I train for myself. If we talk about all my business projects that are planned, fights are not in these plans.
“My mother is the most precious thing I have left,” Nurmagomedov added. “You won’t push me to do things that will disappoint my mother. I don’t even have plans for UFC in the near future. I don’t even have any thoughts about preparing for a fight. I saw how Umar was preparing now and I thought, Alhamdulillah (praise be to God) I left it behind.”
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