Undisputed UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of the most impressive grapplers in MMA history, but Dustin Poirier isn’t sweating the Russian’s takedowns.
Ahead of his UFC 242 lightweight title unification bout with Nurmagomedov, the interim champion Poirier is more concerned with his own game than his foe’s. He says his priority is to do damage, win rounds, and with a little luck, go down in history as the first man to defeat Nurmagomedov in MMA.
“I’m not worried about his takedowns so much,” Dustin Poirier told MMA Junkie at his home gym, American Top Team, recently (transcript via Sport Bible). “I need to hurt this guy. That’s a huge part of this training camp. Putting myself in good positions to win the rounds and win the fight. Staying off the fence. Getting up off the ground. But, at the same time, I need to do what I do.
“I have the opportunity to make history and do something that’s never been done. I’m embracing that… I’m just excited that I put myself in this position and that I have an opportunity to show the world how great I am on the biggest scale possible and unify these belts. Make history – that’s what this is about.”
Dustin Poirier will enter this UFC 242 title unification bout with Nurmagomedov on an impressive six-fight unbeaten streak. Highlights of this run include defeats of Anthony Pettis, Justin Gaethje, Eddie Alvarez, and most recently, UFC featherweight champ Max Holloway, who he defeated to claim the interim lightweight belt. He’s 25-5 overall.
Khabib Nurmagomedov, meanwhile, boasts an incredible overall record of 27-0, highlighted by dominant wins over stars like Conor McGregor, Al Iaquinta, Edson Barboza, Michael Johnson and Rafael dos Anjos.
How do you think Dustin Poirier will perform at UFC 242? Can he spring the upset and defeat Khabib Nurmagomedov?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/25/2019.