The Ultimate Fighting Championship makes it’s return to Abu Dhabi for the first time since 2014 this weekend with a lightweight showcase set to land at UFC 242. A main event unification clash between Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov and American Top Team product Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier for the lightweight championship will take top honors, while top ten contenders Edson ‘Junior’ Barboza and Paul ‘The Irish Dragon’ Felder will take co-main event status.
Nurmagomedov returns to defend his gold for the second time since his UFC 229 triumph over arch-rival Conor McGregor last October, while Poirier successfully claimed the interim title in a rematch against Max Holloway, punishing the featherweight champion over five rounds for a unanimous decision victory. Edson Barboza will attempt to prevent a two-fight skid when paired with former foe Felder, after a crushing first-round knockout defeat to Justin Gaethje last time out. Felder on the other hand, has amassed four consecutive wins at 155 pounds and looks to avenge his first career loss to the Brazilian striker on Saturday.
With lines as high as -450, Khabib Nurmagomedov enters as a considerable favorite according to Firstwin Malaysia , given his wrestling exploits and superior grappling when pitted with the +360 Poirier, who to many’s belief, holds a much more polished and technically sound striking game. In almost all of Khabib’s performance’s in the Octagon, the outstanding narrative is, will his opponent be capable of defending the relentless forward grappling pressure, the answer to this day remains a firm ‘no’. Poirier mixes his bruising boxing ability with steely determination, a solid chin and a well adjusted cardio base since his rebirth at 155 pounds four years ago.
UFC 242: Khabib vs. Poirier Fight Card:
The Arena | Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
(Pay-per-view, 2 p.m. ET)
- To unify the lightweight titles: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier
- Edson Barboza vs. Paul Felder
- Islam Makhachev vs. Davi Ramos
- Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Curtis Blaydes
- Diego Ferreira vs. Mairbek Taisumov
Preliminary Card #2
(FX, 12 p.m. ET)
- Joanne Calderwood vs. Andrea Lee
- Liana Jojua vs. Sarah Moras
- Khalid Taha vs. Bruno Silva
- Ottman Azaitar vs. Teemu Packalen
Preliminary Card #1
(ESPN+, 10:15 a.m. ET)
- Belal Muhammad vs. Takashi Sato
- Muslim Salikhov vs. Nordine Taleb
- Omari Akhmedov vs. Zak Cummings
- Don Madge vs. Fares Ziam
- Lerone Murphy vs. Zubaira Tukhugov