UFC 242: Fighting in the Madness

Dillon Neibel
dneibel@lc.edu

 

When it comes to the fight game anything can happen, and in the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), nothing could be further from the truth, especially in the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) lightweight division. On Sept. 7, 2019 at The Arena, on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, we will see a title unification bout for the Undisputed UFC Lightweight Championship. The fight will be between the reigning UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov and the Interim UFC Lightweight Champion Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier.

Khabib Nurmagomedov is the first Muslim UFC champion, holding an impressive 27-0 undefeated streak, and is ranked as the #2 pound for pound best fighter in the UFC. As arguably the greatest wrestler to enter the sport, Khabib has defeated the likes of many top level fighters, including “The Notorious” Conor McGregor, who is most likely the biggest superstar in MMA history.

Since submitting McGregor back in October of 2018, both Conor and Khabib were suspended due to a brawl that broke out between the two fighters and their respective camps after said fight. Hence the reason that on April 13th the UFC put together an interim title fight for the lightweight belt, between top ranked contender Dustin Poirier and UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway. The featherweight champ Holloway moved up to 155 pounds to take on the #1 contender Poirier in an absolute war, that would see “The Diamond” captured the interim belt and bring him a step closer to becoming the undisputed champion.

While nobody has been able to find an answer for how to beat the bear-wrestling Khabib (look it up, Nurmagomedov has wrestled a bear), you certainly can’t count out Dustin as possibly being the guy to do it. With the reason being that he possesses virtually the same tools that the #2 ranked lightweight contender Tony Ferguson has, who is a man that many believe is the most dangerous opponent that Khabib could possibly face. As a matter of fact, Khabib and Tony have been scheduled to face four times in the past, but were unable to fight due to health reasons of one or the other, and both fighters have gone undefeated for the last decade. 

Ferguson was actually supposed to fight Poirier instead of Holloway in that interim title bout, but was unable to fight that time either. So with the fight between Khabib and Dustin just around the corner, sharks are in the water. With megastar McGregor hungry and ready to comeback from his loss, Tony Ferguson leaving a trail of blood, sweat, and tears in his wake, top contenders Edson Barboza and Paul Felder fighting in the co-main event, and fight fan favorites Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Justin Gaethje fighting the following weekend, it is truly a division derived from madness.

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