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Khabib Nurmagomedov Respects Dustin Poirier, But Will “Maul” Him

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov sees Dustin Poirier as a viable challenger and is looking forward to unifying the belts later this year vs. the current interim champion.

But that doesn’t mean the unbeaten Nurmagomedov isn’t planning a successful performance.

“I think he has very good boxing,” Nurmagomedov said. “And I think he deserves (the) title (fight).

“He have good ground, good striking game. I follow him a long time. (But) versus me? I have to maul him like I do everybody.”

Nurmagomedov claimed the title last year with a victory over Al Iaquinta and defended it vs. Conor McGregor. He is currently serving a suspension for his role in the post-fight melee that included members of his team and McGregor.