The best and worst from UFC 242: Khabib vs. Poirier
UFC 242 is done and dusted and when all was said and done, Khabib Nurmagomedov was simply too good for Dustin Poirier. The Eagle remains the undisputed UFC Lightweight champion after submitting Poirier with a third round rear naked choke, and after a so-so show overall, the fight between the 155lbers largely lived up to the hype.
Elsewhere, we got big wins for the likes of Curtis Blaydes, Islam Makhachev and Paul Felder, as well as some violent finishes – and some curious booking decisions from the UFC itself. Overall, you’d have to call the promotion’s trip to Abu Dhabi a success, but was it the best show of 2019 thus far? I don’t think so.
Here are the best and worst moments from UFC 242: Khabib vs. Poirier.
#1 Best: Khabib cements himself as the best
I wouldn’t go as far as to call him the greatest Lightweight in MMA history – for me he’s got a little more to do in terms of his title reign yet – but after tonight’s show there’s no denying that Khabib Nurmagomedov is clearly the best 155lber on the planet right now. It wasn’t a perfect performance from him but for the most part, the Dagestani grappling machine basically whitewashed Dustin Poirier en route to a third round submission win.
Poirier had his moments in the fight; he tagged Nurmagomedov with some heavy punches in the second round and had him on the back foot for a few moments, and also caught The Eagle in a pretty tight guillotine in the third round, but in the end Khabib’s grappling game was simply too strong and the rear naked choke finish felt like just a matter of time when you consider the amount of occasions that he was able to take Poirier’s back.
My feeling is that someone can beat Khabib if they can weather the storm and tire him out along the stretch remains, but whether that fighter is currently competing in the UFC is anyone’s guess. Hopefully the UFC can set up a fight with Tony Ferguson next; El Cucuy is a tremendous striker but he’s also one of the most dangerous men in the division from his back, which means he may not look as lost from there as Poirier did tonight.
Right now though, it’d be hard to make a case for anyone at 155lbs beating Khabib. He’s simply the best.