ABU DHABI: The much anticipated UFC match 242 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, between the Daghestan born Khabib Nurmagomedov and the American mixed martial artist Dustin Poirier ended in a joyous celebration for Kabib, reminding the world of a similar victory over Conor McGregor in October 2018.
While the previous jump over the octagon cage drew criticism as he summersaulted over Mc Gregor’s team, bringing him much shame and penalties, this time around, he jumped out of the cage and rushed to hug the UFC head Dana White as gesture of high respect and regard. Khabib also wore Poirier’s shirt and pledged to auction it to raise money for his fallen foe.
The Russian came out with a huge opening round, taking Poirier to the ground numerous times and dominating throughout the opening five minutes, cruising through to claim the fight’s first round.
In the second, Poirier utilized his boxing ability to land a right hand bomb onto Khabib’s bearded chin which stumbled the champion, followed up by a series of hard blows, before ‘The Eagle’ regrouped to take Poirier once again to the mat.
As the fight entered the third round, Khabib used his superior grappling skills but Poirier looked more and more like a rag toy being chewed and thrown around by a pet dog. The Louisiana fighter did have some success though, throwing everything at Khabib and managed to lock up a tight guillotine choke that looked as though it could end the action.
But Khabib stayed composed and when he popped his head out, the crowd reacted with raucous applause and moments later maneuvered himself into position to execute a rear-naked choke, forcing Poirier to tap at 2.06 minutes into the third round to take the title.
A beaten Poirier made a tearful speech after the fight, apologizing unnecessarily for “letting down” his team and family, the American had given more of than a strong fight..