Abu Dhabi To Host UFC 242, Khabib Nurmagomedov Expected To Headline PPV
UFC has announced that Abu Dhabi will host the UFC 242 pay-per-view on September 7th this year. For weeks, there have been rumours about UFC going to the Middle East to host a pay-per-view. With Khabib Nurmagomedov now becoming the UFC Lightweight Champion, it was seen as the perfect opportunity for the promotion to host a pay-per-view outside of the Americas.
Earlier this month, Khabib even acknowledged the rumours, saying UFC was planning to host an event in Abu Dhabi in September. With the promotion now confirming the same, it is now being speculated that Nurmagomedov will defend the lightweight championship at the pay-per-view.
Dustin Poirier defeated Max Holloway at UFC 236 to become the interim lightweight champion. Meanwhile, Conor McGregor has also been lobbying for a rematch with Khabib for the lightweight title, and UFC would be hard-pressed to overlook the Irishman in favour of “Diamond”. While Conor certainly brings the eyeballs and the attention, Poirier also has the leverage, and would feel that he is entitled to get a crack at Khabib next.
Khabib Nurmagomedov had defeated Conor McGregor at UFC 229 after a heated lead-up to the fight. After the event, Nurmagomedov even jumped the cage and attacked Conor’s team. While Khabib has since been suspended for 9 months, he will be eligible to fight come September.
“The Eagle” has however refused to confirm the date, saying he will sit out for a year, similar to his teammates who received one-year suspensions. We will have to wait and see if Khabib indeed fights in September in the main event in Abu Dhabi.