The 155 lb. top contender Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier has finally received his title shot vs. undefeated phenom Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242. Both men have looked unbeatable as Khabib submitted former champ Conor McGregor and Poirier took out reigning featherweight champ Max “Blessed” Holloway. The bout will take place on foreign soil at Abu Dhabi on Sept. 7th. and will be available through ESPN+.
With the backdrop set, let’s talk about how the two men stack up. Khabib will come in as a heavy favorite with his unblemished 27-0 MMA record. Known as a grappling specialist, Khabib has recently shown an improved stand-up game, catching one of the best strikers in the game in his last outing. This is due to his ability to keep his opponents concerned with the takedown, mixing in faux takedowns to striking transitions. This may not be an issue for Poirier however, as he is a more balanced martial artist.
The Diamond has both excellent striking and grappling that may be enough to negate Khabib’s wresting. At least initially. As most analyst have predicted, this may go all five rounds since both men are very durable. We have not see Khabib struggle in later rounds, and he is training at AKA, which is well known for creating cardio monsters like Cain Velasquez and Daniel Cormier.
This will come down to the later rounds and who took the bigger damage earlier. If there is three rounds of grappling, (which is the safe bet) Khabib will retain his title. If Dustin can keep it standing or get Khabib willing to trade, Poirier will be able to pick apart the champ. If you’re looking to make easy money, this is not the bout. For an easier night on your bets, stick to a bout like Islam Makhachev to be a lock over Davi Ramos.