Khabib Nurmagomedov returns to the Octagon, faces Dustin Poirier at UFC 242, defending his 155 Pound Championship Belt.
Previously, Khabib defended his title against former two-division champ Conor McGregor at UFC229. The bout itself got a bad rep as the fight ended in a post-fight brawl after Khabib chokes out Conor in the fourth round of the match.
The all-out brawl between Khabib’s team and Conor’s team led to several suspension to those that took part. This is Khabib’s first appearance back in the Octagon since that last debacle.
On the other hand, Dustin Poirier outpunched the reigning defending UFC 145-pound champ Max Holloway in the main event of UFC 236 to win the interim lightweight belt. Next, he sets his eyes on reigning undisputed champ!
Khabib Nurmagomedov (27-0 MMA, 11-0 UFC) is an absolute monster in the cage. He is a master Sambo practitioner, army hand-to-hand combat, and Pankration, but also a Judo black belt. He is a fantastic grappler and has some BJJ experience as well. He specializes in trapping the opponent’s leg on the top and raining big strikes, and just mauls you on the ground or submits you.
His stand-up game is solid, and overhand right is his trademark. A cardio machine who outlasts his opponents with ease.
Submission wins – 9 (Vusal Bayramov, Shahbulat Shamhalaev, Said Khalilov, Kadzhik Abadzhyan, Khamiz Mamedov, Vadim Sandulskiy, Kamal Shalorus, Michael Johnson, Conor McGregor).
Dustin Poirier (25-5, 1 NC MMA; 17-4, 1 NC MMA) is an outstanding striker. He has some solid combos, raining shot after shot and destroys foes with constant pressure and amazing pace. He’s also a BJJ black belt, known for dangerous armbar and excellent transitions.
Submission wins – 6 (Nate Jolly, Ronny Lis, Derrick Krantz, Pablo Garza, Max Holloway, Jonathan Brookins).
Both fighters were very cautious at the beginning of round one, just feeling each other’s game. Poirier landed a big punch which was followed by a body kick. Khabib quickly switches the game plan and pressed the interim champ to the fence with a double leg takedown attempt, but then transitioned to single-leg and took Poirier down.
Poirier was fighting well and stood up, but Khabib swiftly secured another takedown. Poirier tried to stand up, but then Khabib climbed on his back and tried to finish him via neck crank. The BJJ black belt does real well defending, Poirier was pushing his chin towards the clavicula bone and saved himself from the submission.
As soon as Poirier got back on his feet and delivered a big strike, Nurmagomedov took him down to the canvas again. Then Khabib mounted him and nearly finished him off, but Poirier was saved by the bell. 10-9 Khabib.
Dustin Poirier surprised Khabib at the beginning of round two. After a punch exchange on both sides, Poirier hit him with a big hand and Khabib looked heavily rocked.
Looking to recover from the blow, Khabib circles around trying to survive the onslaught. Dustin was chasing the reigning defending champion all-around the cage, but Nurmagomedov kept his hands up and successfully recovered, surviving Poirier’s barrage of over 15 punches.
Nurmagomedov then secured another takedown and mauled his foe for around a minute and a half. Poirier was trying to use the cage to get up, but he was unable to.
He got up, but Nurmagomedov took him down yet again! Poirier’ face is starting to swell from the heavy blows from the ground and pound. Fighters stood up then Nurmagomedov pressed his enemy against the fence and landed a big knee, but Poirier hung on for another round.
Big left hand by Poirier, Khabib also fired back with a left punch and went for a takedown, but Poirier countered with a stunning guillotine choke. It looked deep and the Russian looked like he was in big trouble! He was in the guillotine for a good 30 seconds but Khabib was able to change angles, expertly slips out of the submission and transitioned to side control.
Khabib quickly As Poirier looked to escape, he gave up his back and Khabib capitalizes and sinks in the rear-naked choke. Khabib finishes Dustin Poirier moments after sinking in the choke, extending his perfect record to 28-0.
Excellent performance by Khabib. It was business as usual as he simply dominates Dustin Poirier throughout all three rounds.
Dustin did well defending Khabib and even got a good shot in, momentarily rocking the undefeated champ. He was also able to sink in a pretty deep guillotine.
Unfortunately both attempts were not good enough to stop the Russian from doing his thing. When you go up against a grappling monster like Khabib, expect to get mauled – and that he did.
Khabib Nurmagomedov defeats Dustin Poirier via Rear Naked Choke (round 3, 2:06)
Khabib Nurmagomedov climbs to 28-0 MMA, 12-0 UFC
Dustin Poirier drops to 25-6, 1 NC MMA; 17-5, 1 NC MMA