In the main event of UFC 242, undefeated lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov wil look to defend his belt against Dustin Poirier. Heading into this fight, the champ is a -500 favorite on Bovada, while the challenger is a +350 underdog.
Ahead of the fight, BJPENN.com reached out to several pro fighters to get their predictions for the scrap. The majority are leaning towards Khabib Nurmagomedov, but they think it is a closer fight than the odds suggest.
BJPENN.com Fighter Picks: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier
Demetrious Johnson, ONE Championship flyweight: It could go either way. Khabib could do what he does best and push the pressure and use his wrestling and get Poirier to the ground and maul and smash him. Or, I could see Poirier using his distance and avoid the takedown and try and knock him out. At the end of the day, as an athlete, I can’t say this person will beat the other because it is super close. It won’t be an easy fight for either of them.
Volkan Oezdemir, UFC light heavyweight: I got Khabib. His style will dictate where the fight goes and will neutralize Poirier’s striking. Khabib will defend the title.
Matt Mitrione, Bellator heavyweight: Poirier is on one hell of a run right now but Khabib is a beast. He is so good and is one of the best in the world. I’m very good friends with Luke Rockhold and he tells me when he is at like 220-pounds, out of camp, just playing around that getting up with Khabib on top is one of the worst experiences he has had. Until someone beats him, there is no way I’m betting against him. So Khabib defends the title.
Diego Ferreira, UFC lightweight: I think Poirier gets it done by decision. He has all the skills to get this done and will be the one to beat Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Nick Newell, Bellator lightweight: A lot of people really sleep on Khabib’s standup. He was picking Iaquinta apart and dropped Conor. He is not the flashiest guy and gets it done. But, Poirier is a different beast in his striking and the way he moves and can wrestle which will make it tough on Khabib. Poirier is a live underdog, and I think he gets it done and hands Khabib his first loss.
Khama Worthy, UFC lightweight: I like Poirier but I don’t see him getting past Khabib. If Khabib gets you down you are down for a while, so I expect him to control Poirier on the ground and win.
Drakkar Klose, UFC lightweight: I think Khabib is going to win. He will use his wrestling and tire Poirier out as he does to all his opponents. He will finish him.
Casey Kenney, UFC bantamweight: That is a good one. I think Khabib takes it. He is just too much, he will do his normal style and smother Poirier. Nothing against Poirier he is a tough dude. It will be a great fight.
Devonte Smith, UFC lightweight: It could go either way. Khabib has a lot of respect, but Dustin hits hard from what I have seen. It could go either way because we know if Khabib gets ahold of you it will be over. But, Dustin has the striking advantage. It is a close fight, but I’ll say Khabib.
Ricky Bandejas, Bellator bantamweight: I hope Dustin Poirier wins but I think Khabib Nurmagomedov gets it done. He just has a real tough wrestling game and it always works.
Fighters picking Khabib Nurmagomedov: Volkan Oezdemir, Matt Mitrione, Khama Worthy, Drakkar Klose, Casey Kenney, Devonte Smith, Ricky Bandejas
Fighters picking Dustin Poirier: Diego Ferreira, Nick Newell
Undecided: Demetrious Johnson
Who do you think will win the fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier at UFC 242? Let us know in the comment section. Learn how to watch UFC 242 here.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/5/2019.