Khabib Nurmagomedov celebrates following his UFC 223 victory.

Khabib Nurmagomedov celebrates following his UFC 223 victory. Photo from BBC.co.uk

Khabib Nurmagomedov Explains Why He’ll Have Distractions At UFC 242

Khabib Nurmagomedov admits there will be distractions at UFC 242.

Nurmagomedov is scheduled to defend his UFC lightweight title on Sept. 7. He’ll go one-on-one with Dustin Poirier in a title unification bout. The fight will headline UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi on Sept. 7.

Unlike the buildup to his last bout with Conor McGregor, Nurmagomedov finds himself not having to trade verbal insults with Poirier. During an interview with RT Sport, Nurmagomedov explained why he doesn’t need beef to be motivated (via MMANews.com).

“It’s not really necessary to have a verbal conflict to be motivated,” Nurmagomedov told RT Sport. “Motivation can be sporting, and I have that. Why not? When you go there and compete with a rival, it doesn’t matter if it’s a fight, a sports competition, or in a gym, motivation is always there. And I still have it. I’m not a 50-year-old, so I don’t have any problems with motivation. Whether I have it or not, you’ll see on September 7.”

While Nurmagomedov doesn’t have to deal with pre-fight banter going into UFC 242, distractions still loom in the form of his teammates, who will be competing on the same card.

“Yes, there will be some distraction,” Nurmagomedov admitted. “When your friends and close ones are fighting, it does distract you. But I hope they’ll give me some positive energy before my fight. Because when your close friends are losing, of course it upsets you. The main thing for them is to motivate me for my victory. We’re hoping only for victory.