Khabib Nurmagomedov unifies UFC lightweight championship, submitting Dustin Poirier

Can anyone stop Khabib Nurmagomedov?

The Dagestani star submitted interim UFC lightweight champion Dustin Poirier in the third round with a crushing rear-naked choke to unify the UFC belts at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi.

Nurmagomedov’s win sees him move to ridiculous unbeaten record of 28-0, 12 of those wins coming in the UFC. That run of 12 wins inside the Octagon is the joint-third longest winning streak in UFC history.

Poirier put in a valiant effort inside the cage despite Nurmagomedov’s obvious grappling gifts.

He bravely withstood the tremendous pressure poured onto him as Nurmagomedov’s supreme chain-wrestling skills were followed by overwhelming positional control, a series of neck cranks and some sharp elbows thrown from above.

The Louisianan seemingly hurt Nurmagomedov in the second round, clipping him with a right hand before seeking the finish. However, Nurmagomedov still had the wherewithal to execute a swift double leg takedown to avoid danger and resume his offensive output.

After a tough opening couple of stanzas, Poirier went for broke and tried snatching a guillotine choke at the start of the third round.

It looked tight, but Nurmagomedov calmly defended himself well and once again found his opponent underneath him.

“The Eagle” soon managed to take Poirier’s back and for the final time, instead of taking another neck crank, Nurmagomedov cinched up a tight rear-naked choke to force the tap.

Khabib looked better than ever despite a long layoff. The MMA world will be hoping a fight between him and Tony Ferguson will finally materialise after years of bad luck.


Paul Felder takes close split decision win over Edson Barboza

It’s almost always guaranteed fireworks when you have either Paul Felder or Edson Barboza competing. Unsurprisingly, the pair also make for a great fight between themselves.

That’s why the UFC decided to run this one back.

In the rematch, Felder was awarded the split decision win, avenging his loss to Barboza four years ago.

Brazil’s Barboza was clearly the quicker of the two men in the cage, exemplified by the body and leg kicks he was throwing towards his opponent at will – especially in the earlier stages of the fight.

But Felder grew into the fight and showed off his handy work with some crisp punching combinations, causing Barboza to begin fighting on the backfoot.

It was a back-and-forth battle, but Felder was awarded the decision by two of the three judges sat at cageside.

A rubber match will surely be in the offing next.


UFC 242: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier full results

UFC Lightweight Championship: Khabib Nurmagomedov (C) def. Dustin Poirier (IC) by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:06 of round three
Lightweight: Paul Felder def. Edson Barboza via split decision after three rounds
Lightweight: Islam Makhachev def. Davi Ramos via unanimous decision after three rounds
Heavyweight: Curtis Blaydes def. Shamil Abdurakhimov by TKO (elbow and punches) at 2:22 of round two
Lightweight: Carlos Diego Ferreira def. Mairbek Taisumov via unanimous decision after three rounds
Women’s Flyweight: Joanne Calderwood def. Andrea Lee via split decision after three rounds
Featherweight: Zubaira Tukhugov vs. Lerone Murphy ended in a split draw after three rounds
Catchweight: Sarah Moras def. Liana Jojua by TKO (punches and elbows) at 2:26 of round three
Lightweight: Ottman Azaitar def. Teemu Packalen by KO (punch) at 3:33 of round one
Welterweight: Belal Muhammad def. Takashi Sato by submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:55 of round three
Welterweight: Muslim Salikhov def. Nordine Taleb by KO (punch) at 4:26 of round one
Middleweight: Omari Akhmedov def. Zak Cummings via unanimous decision after three rounds
Lightweight: Don Madge def. Fares Ziam via unanimous decision after three rounds