This Saturday, in the main event of UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will attempt to defend his belt against interim champ Dustin Poirier.
From the sounds of it, Nurmagomedov plans to end this fight via submission. While Poirier has proven quite difficult to submit, having tapped out just once in 31 fights, Nurmagomedov is confident he can make it happen.
The key, he says, is making his foe tired.
“Dustin Poirier’s a very tough opponent,” Nurmagomedov said at the UFC 242 open workouts on Wednesday. “I don’t want to underestimate him. He has a lot of experience. But when I go to the cage, my plan is make him tired, make him tap. This is my plan.”
While Nurmagomedov seems to believe he has a cardio advantage in this fight, Poirier’s team is confident that this advantage is actually on their side.
“I’m going to go ahead and say we’re going to finish (Nurmagomedov) in the fourth round,” Poirier’s strength and conditioning coach Phil Daru said recently on the Pull No Punches podcast. “We’re going to make him tired. I know that’s funny to say, but we’re going to make him try to shoot and we’re going to keep getting up. We’re going to hit him with shots to the body.”
“Dustin gets stronger as the fight goes on so we knew it was gonna be a good fight for him,” Davis said. “Especially with five rounders, we always look forward to it. He’s been scheduled for five rounders but never actually went the distance. We always knew he could sustain that power late.”
Do you think Nurmagomedov can make Poirier tired enough to tap at UFC 242?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/4/2019.