UFC’s first trip to Abu Dhabi in five years is shaping up to be a marquee event that will be headlined by Khabib Nurmagomedov taking on Dustin Poirier for the undisputed lightweight championship.
The company officially announced the match has been confirmed for UFC 242 on Sept. 7:
It’s signed! (C) @TeamKhabib vs (IC) @DustinPoirier is official for #UFC242! Get your tickets & join us #InAbuDhabi ➡️ https://t.co/d7ivYbEf6S ⬅️ https://t.co/zEhhFtnaUP
This will mark Nurmagomedov’s first match since submitting Conor McGregor at UFC 229 last October. There was speculation about a rematch between the two stars, despite McGregor tweeting in March he was retiring.
Appearing on Tony Robbins’ podcast last month (h/t For the Win’s Sarah Kezele), McGregor said Nurmagomedov’s camp was “running away” from him.
Poirier is deserving of a title shot against Nurmagomedov. The 30-year-old is unbeaten in his previous six fights dating back to February 2017. He won the interim lightweight title at UFC 236 by defeating Max Holloway via unanimous decision.
Nurmagomedov is also putting his perfect record on the line against Poirier. The Eagle is 27-0, including 11 wins since joining UFC in 2012.