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UFC 165 fight card primer: Pat Healy vs Khabib Nurmagomedov

Bloody Elbow presents their UFC 16: Jones vs. Gustafsson fight card primer, previewing all the action at this weekend's UFC 165 PPV. Here, we look at Pat Healy vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson opens with action in the Lightweight division. Pat Healy (29-16 (1) MMA; 0-1(1) UFC) will take on Khabib Nurmagomedov (20-0 MMA; 4-0 UFC). The official UFC rankings have Healy as the #10 contender for the belt, while the undefeated Nurmagomedov is unranked. UFC 165: Jones vs. Gustafsson airs live on PPV this Saturday, September 21 with the main card starting at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.

This is an interesting fight that is much closer than the two men's records would indicate. Healy and Nurmagomedov have both established themselves as viable threats at 155. We seem to be in a bit of transition time in the division - mainstays like Jim Miller and Gray Maynard are slipping away, while fighters like these two are trying to take their spots. With a new face holding gold in the division, it's an interesting time for what has long been one of the company's deepest divisions.

How do these two stack up?

Healy: 30 years old | 5'11" | 72" reach
Nurmagomedov: 24 years old | 5'10" | 70" reach

What have these two done recently?

Healy: NC - Jim Miller | W - Kurt Holobaugh (UD) | W - Mizuto Hirota (UD)
Nurmagomedov: W - Abel Trujillo (UD) | W - Thiago Tavares (KO) | W - Gleison Tibau (UD)

How did these two get here?

Though he is technically winless in the UFC, Pat Healy made a big impression with his performance at UFC 159 in April. Originally a win over the very tough Miller, the fight was then changed to a No Contest after Healy tested positive for marijuana. Prior to the Miller fight, Healy was on a strong run in Strikeforce where he went 7-1, with his only blemish coming against Josh Thomson. In fact, after starting his career at 20-15, Healy has lost just once in his last 11. Clearly, things are finally working right for this 12 year veteran journeyman. The question is, how long can he ride this streak?

More Bloody Elbow coverage of UFC 165

Khabib Nurmagomedov has one of the best undefeated records in MMA right now, with a perfect 20 wins in 20 fights. That includes his 4 UFC wins, plus a win in Russia over Bellator top contender Shahbulat Shamhalaev. A powerful fighter with serious Sambo and Judo credentials, Nurmagomedov has been able to manhandle opponents at times, turning in dominating victories. He's definitely ready for a serious test, and if he beats Healy, he should face quite a significant opponent next time out.

Why should you care?

I'm pretty excited about this one. Styles makes fights and this should be a very entertaining match.

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