Khabib Nurmagomedov on Dustin Poirier: “I have to maul him”

Khabib Nurmagomedov
Image: UFC on Instagram

Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier are expected to square off this September in a lightweight title unification bout.

Poirier became the promotions interim lightweight title holder at last weekend’s UFC 236 event, defeating Max Holloway via unanimous decision.

Dustin Poirier, Max Holloway
Image: @BlessedMMA on Twitter

As for the UFC’s reigning lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov has not competed since UFC 229 where he defeated Conor McGregor via fourth round submission.

“The Eagle” is still serving his suspension from the NSAC for his involvement in the now infamous UFC 229 post-fight brawl.

Nurmagomedov spoke to the media following today’s UFC event in Russia where he discussed Dustin Poirier and when the title unification will likely occur.

“I think it was very good performance from Dustin Poirier,” Nurmagomedov said on the UFC on ESPN+ 7 post-fight show on Saturday (via MMAJunkie). “Honestly, before fight I think Holloway going to beat him. This is my prediction when you talk with friends, with father, with team, but he impressed me. Dustin has impressed me. I think he has very good boxing, much better than before. Every fight he becomes stronger, better in boxing on his feet. I think he deserve title shot. He already interim UFC lightweight champion, I am real lightweight champion. We have to fight. Now we’re working on this.”

Khabib Nurmagomedov has gone a perfect 27-0 during his professional fighting career and plans to continue that steak when he squares off with “The Diamond”.

“[Poirier] have very good background, he have good ground game – not bad – he have good striking game,” Nurmagomedov said. “I follow him long time and versus me – I think I have to maul him like I do with everybody. This is what I have to do. I respect him like fighter, like human, but when we go to the cage I have to maul this guy. This is what I want and right now I am focused on September. Five month before fight and I think it’s going to be really good fight with him.”

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