Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0) submitted Dustin Poirier (25-6) to retain the lightweight title in the main event of UFC 242 at The Arena, Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The unbeaten champ took advantage of an exhausted Poirier to earn the submission victory via rear-naked choke midway through the third round.
Aaand Still…. 🏆 2️⃣8️⃣-0️⃣
Khabib successfully defends his title in Abu Dhabi 🇦🇪#UFC242 results: Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Dustin Poirier via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 2:06.
Khabib is now on a 12-Fight win streak inside the UFC octagon.pic.twitter.com/JepUV39G9B
— ON: MMA (@OnMMA) September 7, 2019
Nurmagomedov and Poirier spent the first minute of the opening round testing their range before the champ shot and forced Poirier into the mat. Nurmagomedov showed off his suffocating ground game, transitioning from full mount to take Poirier’s back and pummel him on the ground. Poirier looked like he was in trouble late, but remained composed, didn’t panic and made Nurmagomedov work through the end of the round.
"At his mauling best in round one!" 🦅
— UFC (@ufc) September 7, 2019
Poirier came out aggressively in the second, looking for openings and throwing bombs at Nurmagomedov. About a minute into the round again, it was Nurmagomedov shooting and taking Poirier easily to the mat. Poirier kept out of trouble for the most part, holding his own and refusing to let Nurmagomedov transition into more dominant positions.
To open the third, Nurmagomedov immediately went for the takedown and Poirier caught him with a deep choke. But Nurmagomedov worked patiently to get out of danger, moving to take Poirier’s back and lock in a choke of his own for the submission victory.
Poirier came into Saturday’s title fight fresh off the biggest victory of his career after dominating Max Holloway for five rounds in April. The interim lightweight champ was riding a four-fight win streak, with three of the four by way of knockout.
Nurmagomedov last fought nearly a year ago, when he submitted Conor McGregor, then got caught up in a brawl that involved both camps and spilled outside of the Octagon.
After the win, we’ll see if Nurmagomedov keeps his word and awards Tony Ferguson the next championship fight.