Khabib Nurmagomedov is set to take on Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 242 next Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
When the Russian champion makes the walk to the Octagon it will be for his second title defense. In his first, ’The Eagle’ submitted Conor McGregor in the fourth round of their fight at UFC 229. Khabib used his wrestling to maul Conor, and at one point even dropped the Irishman while they were standing.
Khabib Nurmagomedov captured the UFC’s vacant lightweight title at UFC 223, where he defeated Al Iaquinta by decision in a fight that primarily stayed standing.
So, against Poirier, the question of will Nurmagomedov strike with the American challenger or just use his wrestling is a big one. According to the champ, that answer will be revealed during the fight.
“Every fight begins standing on the feet. And then, we are going to watch what I do. Of course, I want to feel his speed and I want to feel his power,” Khabib Nurmagomedov said on the UFC 242 media call. “We begin standing then we will see what I am going to do. Nobody knows. Fight is a fight. My plan is to finish this guy, that is what I want. We will see.”
It seems likely that Khabib Nurmagomedov will shoot for a takedown eventually. His wrestling is his biggest weapon, but the Russian doesn’t believe Poirier has one-punch knockout power so there is a chance he wants to keep this fight on the feet for a little while to test his striking out.
Regardless, Khabib Nurmagomedov is just confident in his abilities that he will be able to not only beat Dustin Poirier but finish him. Once he does that, he expects the next fight to be Tony Ferguson.
“There’s only Tony Ferguson,” Nurmagomedov added. “Of course, I think he deserves. Who else? Nobody. Only Tony Ferguson I think.”
Who do you think will win the fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier? Sound off in the comment section, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/30/2019.