UFC 242 preview: Khabib Nurmagomedov v Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi
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By Simon Head
Even the UFC octagon has landed at the desert night, because Abu Dhabi plays host on Saturday into UFC 242.
Because he faces interim champion Dustin Poirier at a title unification bout and also the lightweight world champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is place for the event.
The Russian most recently completed Conor McGregor through entry at UFC 229 in 2018 and has published a 27-0 record.
Regardless of displays throughout his UFC career and his record, 30, Nurmagomedov, said he is accepting the challenge of Poirier but confessed because he appears to successfully defend his title, his strategy is different to his matchups.
“Dustin Poirier’s a very challenging competition,” Nurmagomedov said on Wednesday in the UFC 242 open workouts. “I do not want to dismiss him. He’s got a lot of experience. But when I go to the cage, my strategy would be to make him tired, make him tap. That is my strategy.”
Nurmagomedov faces a towering competitor who thinks his crowning moment is represented by their main event matchup as a professional fighter.
30, america’s Poirier, is in the type of his career and heads into the octagon because the UFC interim champion, having defeated world champion Max Holloway at April.
Speaking in the workouts that were open underdog Poirier said he’s prepared to prove the doubters wrong.
“I have had naysayers my whole life and overcome the chances,” he said.
“I am only in the present time, appreciative of the chance and won’t allow it to slip through my fingers. Capitalise I’m here in order to take complete advantage of this and become the undisputed world champion.
“I’ve had lessons in losses and picking myself from the ground. Being undefeated is amazing. It is difficult to do against the competition he’s [Nurmagomedov] confronted. However, I’ve learned lessons via mistake and succeed that he’s never heard yet, through trial. There’s something about still chasing your dreams and picking yourself off the ground time and time again.
“I simply can’t be broken. I will not be broken. I’m here to make history.”
Also top of the invoice in Abu Dhabi are high fighters Edson Barboza and American Paul Felder, who confront each other at an eagerly-anticipated rematch.
This struggle does not have any bad blood or crap talk, with Felder saying their approach will be appreciated by true fans of martial arts – and the battle.
“This is about martial arts for me,” Felder said in the open workouts.
“It is because I love everything I do. That Edson is. I guarantee that is what we’re likely to put on display for you guys, a warfare of martial arts and integrity.”
Two British fighters at several points in their careers are put to face competitions on Saturday.
The Joanne Calderwood of scotland is looking to push on her claims to get a shot in the women’s flyweight title in her 10th UFC contest with success over rival Andrea Lee.
And when he takes on the card on the team-mate Zubaira Tukhugov of Nurmagomedov Manchester lightweight Lerone Murphy will seem to spring a jolt.