If the fourth time is the charm, Khabib Nurmagoemdov and Tony Ferguson will finally fight in what is one of the most anticipated and high level fights in the world. There is another lightweight fight that everyone is talking about, which is Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier’s wild scrap at UFC Glendale. Nurmagomedov is adamant that he’ll be fighting for the real belt, and so is Poirier. He’s focused on taking out the former WSOF lightweight champion and testing himself against Nurmagomedov, who he predicts will be the true UFC lightweight champion.
“I’m on the right track. I’ve just got to keep winning and winning solves everything. So, I’m going to come out here in two months and beat [Justin] Gaethje, and I feel like I might get a title shot. I feel like I should get a title shot with that win. I think they’re stripping Conor [McGregor] here, and they’re going to fight for the real belt. This sport is a crazy thing, and what happens, it’s unpredictable. But I think the winner of Tony Ferguson versus Khabib [Nurmagomedov] is going to be the real, undisputed UFC lightweight champion. Just the two styles, I think Khabib’s going to pressure him and be stronger and better on top, harder to submit. I mean, if Kevin Lee can take Ferguson down, Khabib is going to do the same.”
— UFC (@ufc) February 13, 2018
“We’ll see [Ferguson] on his back again, we’ll see him throwing elbows and throwing submissions. It’s an interesting fight, for sure, but I think the most dangerous thing is how long it lasts on the feet. I know Tony’s really unpredictable, moves in weird, awkward ways, different timing. Khabib’s not as fluid of a striker, but we’ve never really seen Khabib in trouble on top, in guard. He does a lot of damage from the top position as well. So it’s an interesting fight, but I think Khabib’s going to come out ahead. [My goal is to] get past Gaethje and fight the winner [of UFC 223], and I think it’s going to be Khabib.” — Dustin Poirier speaking to MMA Fighting.
If Dustin Poirier can stand toe-to-toe with Justin Gaethje and win, he’ll be in position yet again to get his very first title shot in his nearly 10 year career. Gaethje is a big test and Khabib is an absolute monster, but Poirier is as game as ever and riding a big win off of former champ Anthony Pettis. We’ll have to wait a couple of months for UFC 223 on April 7th, then seven more days for UFC Glendale on April 14th to see if this situation plays out like The Diamond wants it to.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/16/2018.