At UFC 242, Dustin Poirier will enter the fight of his life, taking on Khabib Nurmagomedov in a pivotal Lightweight unification title fight.
Poirier (25-5) recently became interim champion, outpointing Max Holloway in memorable fashion at UFC 236. With that win, Poirier snapped Holloway's thirteen fight win streak but he'll now look to achieve an even greater feat, hoping to hand Nurmagomedov the first defeat of his career. 'The Eagle' is 27-0 but hasn't competed since October last year, famously submitting Conor McGregor in a blockbuster title tilt. However, Poirier isn't confident that his foe's inactivity will have an impact on September 7th.
Nonetheless, Poirier remains assured of the result, making a bold prediction on this week's Ariel Helwani's MMA Show. “That’s all I’m focused on right now honestly," he said. "That’s where all my energy is going and I’m just gonna show the world. I’m gonna shock the world. I’m gonna be the undisputed world champion.
“I just have a feeling I’m gonna finish this guy," he continued. "I’m not only gonna beat him, I’m gonna stop him."
Poirier isn't alone in that prediction either, recalling that Muhammed 'King Mo' Lawal had the same assessment years ago. The former Strikeforce champion recently retired from competition but will now be a full-time coach at American Top Team, set to fill a major role in Poirier's upcoming camp. Lawal was previously a member of American Kickboxing Academy and as a result, has trained alongside Nurmagomedov in the past.
“King Mo’s gonna be part of this camp," Poirier said. "I’m excited about it, King Mo has experience with Khabib but also, a lot of experience with world class wrestling and grappling. What’s crazy about this whole thing coming full circle is probably about four or five years ago, King Mo told me he said ‘Dustin, you’re gonna be the one to beat Khabib.’ This was years and years and years ago, I wasn’t in the position to even talk about fighting the guy.”
Either way, Poirier will soon have a chance to make that forecast a reality, fighting Nurmagomedov in Abu Dhabi on September 7th.