Dustin Poirier Is Up For Challenge Of Beating Khabib In Enemy Territory
Even before the UFC officially announced that they would be heading to Abu Dhabi on September 7th for UFC 242, there was speculation that Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier would meet there and then, to unify the UFC Lightweight Title.
And as you can imagine, the speculation only grew once the UFC made the card official. There has been one little potential stumbling block though and that is that Khabib has stated that although he would be cleared to fight nine months after the infamous brawl at UFC 229, he wouldn’t fight while his teammates Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Zubaira Tukhugov were still suspended.
They were both suspended for twelve months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), for their part in the post fight fracas. That stumbling block appears to have been swerved though. As we reported earlier today, Abubakar and Zubaira had their suspensions reduced by 35 days, at a NSAC hearing in Las Vegas on Wednesday. Meaning that their suspensions will end before UFC 242. You can read more about that here.
Now that Khabib can fight on September 7th and keep his word, the scene is set for Poirier to step up to the plate and take on one of the biggest challenges in MMA. Not only taking on the unbeaten UFC Lightweight Champion but also doing so in enemy territory.
Prior to the hearing, Poirier, the UFC Interim Lightweight Champion, spoke to MMA Junkie Radio about the challenge at hand (as transcribed by BJPenn.com).
“That’s a big challenge to go over there. [He’s] probably one of the biggest Muslim stars – sports stars for sure, I mean I don’t know any other ones right off the bat. To go out there in enemy territory and fight their guy is going to be a huge challenge. That’s what you sign up for. He’s the champ and I can’t say anything about it.
“When I beat him and I defend it I can try to nudge the UFC and say hey let’s do it here or do it there, but I’m the challenger and I understand that role. I’ve got a long climb to go over there and pull off the upset.”
Do you give Poirier a chance against Khabib at UFC 242?