Well, there’s no denying it - Khabib Nurmagomedov is a global superstar.
The undefeated Dagestani successfully defended his lightweight title against Dustin Poirier this past weekend at UFC 242 and, while US pay-per-view numbers haven’t been released, Russia Today reports that roughly 26 million people — that’s 24 percent of adults — tuned in to watch Khabib’s title fight on Channel One Russia (Perviy Canal), a free TV station in Nurmagomedov’s home country.
UFC 242: Khabib vs. Poirier is more likely to have secured around 1-2 million views in the US, given that it was a paid, PPV event. Expect the official numbers to be released in the coming weeks. Nurmagomedov’s headlining bout against Conor McGregor (UFC 229) secured a record-breaking 2.4 PPV million buys, the biggest pay-per-view event in the promotion’s history.
Other than a slight scare in the second round, Nurmagomedov dominated Poirier enroute to a third-round submission victory in the UFC 242 main event at The Arena, Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
‘The Eagle’s’ next title defense is expected to be against streaking lightweight contender Tony Ferguson, although the Russian seems more interested in a superfight against retired UFC legend, Georges St-Pierre.