Khabib Nurmagomedov is currently undefeated and will be looking to go 28-0 in the main event of UFC 242 when he takes on Dustin Poirier.
The American, Poirier, is the UFC’s interim lightweight champion and currently boasts a four-fight winning streak.
Yet, many, including the oddsmakers who have Khabib Nurmagomedov as a -450 favorite, think this will be an easy fight for the Russian.
However, the lightweight champion does not share that same sentiment. Instead, he thinks this will be the toughest fight of his career.
“Right now, watching Dustin Poirier, I think it will be my toughest challenge. I always think like this,” Khabib Nurmagomedov said on the UFC 242 media call. “Even when I fight with Darrell Horcher, I think okay this guy is my toughest challenge. I don’t want to make [a] mistake, I don’t want to underestimate this guy. I think a lot of people underestimate his ground game, he has [a] good ground game. He has good grappling. A little bit of [an] old school style.
“He is not bad on [the] ground, he is not bad on feet, his kicking, knee, punching, footwork. He is a very good fighter. I think it will be a very tough fight for me. I’m ready for this,” the Russian champion continued. “Almost 100 days, last 100 days, I train so hard for this fight. I am focused, and we are almost there, [the] fight is around the corner and I’m very focused on Dustin Poirier. I’m not underestimating this guy.”
Poirier no doubt has the skillset to make this fight interesting. He is solid on the feet and has very good jiu-jitsu and if he gets put on his back he is dangerous as Khabib Nurmagomedov says.
In the end, Khabib Nurmagomedov knows defending his belt, and possibly going 28-0 on Saturday will be easier said than done. He knows Dustin Poirier is a tough opponent and expects this to be a very tough fight.
Do you think Dustin Poirier is the toughest fight Khabib Nurmagomedov will have in his career? Sound off in the comment section, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/2/2019.