Two top-ranked lightweight fighters will clash when Khabib Nurmagomedov defends his title against Dustin Poirier at UFC 242 on Saturday, September 7 in Abu Dhabi.
Poirier (25-1) added a sixth consecutive win to his record after he defeated Max Holloway via unanimous decision for the interim lightweight title at UFC 236 in April.
“It’s gonna be a scrap but I’m gonna make him make mistakes and we’ll see what happens," Poirier recently predicted about a fight with Nurmagomedov, reports MMA Mania.
"If he slows down, it’s gonna go downhill for him. I think with my overall game, I can cause threats and problems for him early on as well. I don’t need him to gas out to win this fight."
“Against all odds, I’ll get it done, man. It’s the story of my life.”
Nurmagomedov (27-0) hasn't competed since last October's UFC 229, when he submitted Conor McGregor to become the reigning lightweight champion. The ensuing post-fight fracas earned both suspensions from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Before UFC 242's main event was made official, Nurmagomedov's head coach, Javier Mendez, revealed that the undefeated Dagestani fighter was about to start training.
”Excited to start camp with Khabib Nurmagomedov for Sept 7th UFC Abu Dhabi against a very tough challenge in Dustin Poirier,” Mendez wrote on Instagram.
This obviously means that the Nurmagomedov-McGregor rematch isn't happening any time soon. In fact, it's unclear who the Irish fighter will get in the Octagon with next.
A trilogy fight with Nate Diaz is out of the question, at least if the Stockton-bred brawler's recent comments are to be believed.
"I'm not interested in it at all," Diaz told ESPN's Ariel Helwani on Monday. "I'm interested in winners. He lost his last fight, and I won my last fight."
"You think I'm trying to fight someone who just got his ass beat all over the place? I'm a black belt in jiu-jitsu. That shit wouldn't happen to me."
Or perhaps McGregor will give boxing another try. He entertained the notion on Twitter just days ago.
“I challenge Juan Manuel Mayweather to a rematch. Under the tutelage of my old club. We’ll see then mate.”
Who knows with this guy? As for Nurmagomedov vs. Poirier, may the better man win.