The latest round of UFC action takes place this weekend live from Abu Dhabi, and fight fans are already excited to see the return to the octagon of Khabib Nurmagomedov as he looks to unify the lightweight division with a victory over interim champion Dustin Poirier.
Khabib remains one of the most revered fighters in the whole of UFC and holds a perfect 27-0-0 record; living up to his reputation as one of the best grapplers in the business. However, it wasn’t until his last bout when he seriously arrived on the global stage. His fourth-round submission victory over Conor McGregor in October 2018 catapulted him to stardom, but the actions of both fighters that night overshadowed what should have been a monumental evening. The aftermath of the bout ensured that it went down as one of the most explosive nights in UFC history, as Khabib jumped over the octagon to start fighting with members of the McGregor team. Both fighters were handed hefty fines and lengthy suspensions; with this the first time we have seen either fighter return to the octagon. His vicious style and ability to control the tempo, combined with his grappling style ensures that he is the heavy BetXChange favourite at 0.23 to win this bout.
However, Poirier brings with him a wealth of experience in the octagon and could have a credible chance of upsetting the odds if he is able to control the fight. It is a mammoth task ahead for the American however, as nobody has stopped the Russian in his UFC career. Poirier comes into the bout in excellent form and is unbeaten since his 2016 defeat against Michael Johnson. The only other blemish on his record since that was a non-contest against Eddie Alvarez, which saw his opponent land a flurry of illegal knees. Poirier avenged this, however, a year later when he beat Alvarez by TKO to set up a clash with Max Holloway for the interim title. Poirier was excellent on that evening in Atlanta as he won by decision in the ‘fight of the night’. During this winning run, he has also toppled Justin Gaethje, Anthony Pettis and Jim Miller; with two of those victories coming by TKO.
Tale of the Tape
|1.78 m||Height||1.75 m|
|70.3 kg||Weight||70.3 kg|
|177.8 cm||Reach||182.9 cm|
|27-0-0||Record||25-5-0 (1 NC)|
There’s a reason why fight fans are so excited for this bout, and that is because it pits one of the best strikers against one of the best wrestlers against one another. Poirier is one of the purest strikers in the octagon and prefers to take bouts into a slugfest. Khabib highlighted in his last bout that he also has that string to his bow and that the Russian is more than happy when it comes to throwing hands as he dropped McGregor with a massive right hand in that record-breaking bout. It remains that Poirier is one of the best lightweights on the planet, but Khabib has no weakness in his arsenal, which means despite the quality that Poirier has; he will more than likely come unstuck against the Russian in Abu Dhabi.