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UFC 242: Khabib Nurmagomedov chokes out Dustin Poirier, defends lightweight title

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It was a dominant display again from the UFC’s reigning lightweight champion.

In the main event of UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi, Khabib Nurmagomedov did not disappoint his fans, as he successfully defended his lightweight title with a lopsided win over interim champion Dustin Poirier. Apart from a few striking exchanges early in round two, Khabib shut down the vaunted Poirier offense and got the fight he wanted. His takedowns were on point, his grappling was sublime, and after Poirier had an arguable desperation guillotine fail in the third round, Khabib responded with a fight-ending rear-naked choke.

This was Khabib’s second defense of his title, and for Poirier it’s his first submission defeat since Chan Sung Jung back in 2012. His incredible four-fight winning streak comes to an end against a man who is now 28-0 in his MMA career, looking like an absolute force in one of the UFC’s most stacked divisions.

Poirier started off with an outside leg kick as chants of “KHA-BIB! KHA-BIB!” rained down inside the makeshift arena. Dustin fired off and landed a leg kick and a body kick. Khabib threw a three-punch combo and transitioned to a double leg takedown, which Poirier was initially able to defend. Khabib chain wrestled and got Poirier down. He wasted no time getting the back and going for a neck crank. Khabib threw ground strikes and again searched for the neck crank, but Poirier defended it and got back to his feet, landing a knee to the body in the process. He was unable to separate from the champ, whose strength and grappling prowess was on full display. Khabib thumped Poirier with elbows to end a dominant first round.

It was a more aggressive start to round two for Poirier. A right hookby Poirier backed up Khabib and then Khabib clocked Poirier with a left hand. The fight became a bit of a slugfest that Khabib was willing to engage in, but Poirier was landing the more flush shots. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t keep that up and Khabib got the takedown. Khabib’s ground-and-pound cut Poirier above the left eye, noticeably bothering the interim champ. Nurmagomedov just gave Poirier as little space as possible, and even when Poirier briefly separated, Khabib charged forward for another takedown attempt. It was another good frame from the reigning champion, as Poirier’s whirlwind of offense was largely neutralized.

In round three, Poirier was quickly taken down but he locked up a guillotine choke, and despite multiple adjustments, Khabib popped his head out and continued to control things on the mat, and he threatened with another neck crank. That didn’t come to fruition, but the rear-naked choke he tried after that was locked in and Poirier had no choice but to tap.

Official result: Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Dustin Poirier by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:06 of round 3