Ahead of the fight, the Russian champion is 27-0 and a massive favorite. Many think this will be an easy fight for Nurmagomedov, however, he does not agree with that. Instead, he says it will be the toughest challenge of his career due to Poirier’s skillset.
“Right now, watching Dustin Poirier, I think it will be my toughest challenge. I always think like this,” Khabib Nurmagomedov said on the UFC 242 media call. “Even when I fight with Darrell Horcher, I think okay this guy is my toughest challenge. I don’t want to make [a] mistake, I don’t want to underestimate this guy. I think a lot of people underestimate his ground game, he has [a] good ground game. He has good grappling. A little bit of [an] old school style.
“He is not bad on [the] ground, he is not bad on feet, his kicking, knee, punching, footwork. He is a very good fighter. I think it will be a very tough fight for me. I’m ready for this,” the Russian champion continued. “Almost 100 days, last 100 days, I train so hard for this fight. I am focused, and we are almost there, [the] fight is around the corner and I’m very focused on Dustin Poirier. I’m not underestimating this guy.”
Dustin Poirier, as Khabib Nurmagomedov says is a very tough fight given his skillet. He has the striking and has solid jiu-jitsu off his back to make this fight dangerous for the Russian champion. But, Khabib is confident he will be the one to get his hand raised and defend his title and win in front of the ‘home’ crowd in Abu Dhabi.
Yet, Nurmagomedov is expecting a tougher fight than many expect.