UFC 242: The UFC’s next pay-per-view card takes place this Saturday. It features the return of one of the most dominant fighters currently competing. That man, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, faces interim champion Dustin Poirier, who after 21 fights with the promotion, gets his first shot at an undisputed UFC title. UFC 242 takes place at The Arena at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass.
Nurmagomedov, who brings a 27-0 record into the octagon, won the 155-pound title in April 2018 with a unanimous decision over last-minute replacement Al Iaquinta. Nurmagomedov’s first defense of that title came in October of last year when he submitted Conor McGregor in the fourth round of their battle at UFC 229.
That win was marred by a post-fight melee that was set off when Nurmagomedov leaped over the cage to try and get his hands on McGregor’s cornerman, Dillon Danis. Nurmagomedov earned himself a nine-month suspension for his actions in Las Vegas that night. The Nevada State Athletic Commission, who handed down that suspension, also fined him $500,000.
Poirier made his UFC debut on January 1, 2011, in a featherweight scrap. He spent the next four years competing at 145 pounds. Over that time, he put together a record of 8-3. In 2015, Poirier moved up to lightweight. He’s since gone 9-1. He’s won his past four fights, including three by knockout. In April, he took a unanimous decision over featherweight champion Max Holloway to claim the interim lightweight title.
In preparation for Saturday’s title unification bout, the UFC produced “UFC 242 Countdown: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier.” The 32-minute video does an excellent job of telling the story of how both men got to where they stand today — at the top of the 155-pound heap.