UFC lightweight champion Khabin Nurmagomedov is all set to defend his lightweight title against interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier at Abu Dabhi on September 7. Dana White announced it officially that both fighters will fight at UFC 242.
— Jim Edwards (@MMA_Jim) August 1, 2019
On the other hand, Khabib is coming off of a submission victory against Conor McGregor at UFC 229 last October. That fight sold the highest number of PPV buys in the history of the UFC. After the fight, Khabib started a brawl with McGregor’s teammates for which he was banned for nine months. His suspension officially ended on April 6.
“I think it was very good performance from Dustin Poirier,” Nurmagomedov said on the UFC on ESPN+ 7 post-fight show. “Honestly, before fight I think Holloway going to beat him. This is my prediction when you talk with friends, with father, with team, but he impressed me. Dustin has impressed me. I think he has very good boxing, much better than before. Every fight he becomes stronger, better in boxing on his feet. I think he deserve title shot. He already interim UFC lightweight champion, I am real lightweight champion. We have to fight. Now we’re working on this.”
“He have very good background, he have good ground game – not bad – he have good striking game,” Nurmagomedov said. “I follow him long time and versus me – I think I have to maul him like I do with everybody. This is what I have to do. I respect him like fighter, like human, but when we go to the cage, I have to maul this guy. This is what I want, and right now I am focused on September. Five months before fight, and I think it’s going to be really good fight with him.”