UFC 242: What Will Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Legacy Be?
For all his incredible accomplishments inside the Octagon, Khabib Nurmagomedov is linked more closely to his battles outside with Conor McGregor.
UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has the chance to do something that UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic cannot accomplish.
Or two-division UFC champion Henry Cejudo.
Or Nurmagomedov’s teammate, Daniel Cormier.
Not even UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones for that matter – well, at least technically.
As he prepares for UFC 242 this Saturday and interim UFC lightweight champion Dustin Poirier, Nurmagomedov is unbeaten in his mixed martial arts career.
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The 30-year-old Nurmagomedov has stepped inside the Octagon or cage 27 times. And all 27 times, he has left with his hand raised, including a 2018 title defense vs. former UFC champion and rival Conor McGregor at UFC 229. Related: UFC 242 Free Fights Featuring Khabib Nurmagomedov And Dustin Poirier
Nurmagomedov first debuted with the UFC in 2012 after winning 16 fights on the regional circuit. He promptly made an impact, submitting Kamal Shalorus before picking up a decision over Gleison Tibau. Wins vs. Abel Trujillo and Pat Healy led to a bout with Rafael dos Anjos, as “The Eagle” earned a decision.
The Road To Becoming UFC Champion
He finished Darrell Horcher in 2016 and added a win over Michael Johnson ia submission to close out the year to his resume. After over a year off, Nurmagomedov returned and dominated Edson Barboza for 15 minutes before becoming UFC lightweight champion with a victory over Al Iaquinta in early 2018.
Seventeen of those 27 career wins have been either knockouts or submission. Oh, and did I mention a big fat ZERO in the loss column still? Yeah, that remains standing.
But for all his glory and spotless record, Nurmagomedov’s name still is tied directly to that of McGregor. The two made headlines when they fought last year, but most remember what went down after the contest and not the fourth round submission via neck crank for Nurmagomedov.
After McGregor tapped, fighters from both teams ended up brawling inside the Octagon, with more fireworks continuing backstage. The two sides have yet to call a seize fire against the other even though Nurmagomedov is facing Poirier and McGregor is locked in some legal battles and without a return fight even scheduled.
What is it going to take for historians and fight fans alike to remember Nurmagomedov solely for his fighting skills? A convincing win over Poirier this weekend would definitely go a long ways.
UFC 242: Khabib Vs. Poirier Fight Card
UFC Lightweight Championship
Khabib Nurmagomedov (c) vs. Dustin Poirier (ic)
Lightweight: Edson Barboza vs. Paul Felder
Lightweight: Islam Makhachev vs. Davi Ramos
Heavyweight: Curtis Blaydes vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov
Lightweight: Mairbek Taisumov vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira
Lightweight: Ottman Azalta vs. Teemu Packalen
Female Bantamweight: Liana Jojua vs. Sarah Moras
Welterweight: Belal Muhammad vs. Takashi Sato
Welterweight: Nordine Taleb vs. Muslim Salikhov
Middleweight: Omari Akhmedov vs. Zak Cummings
Female Flyweight: Joanne Calderwood vs. Andrea Lee
Featherweight: Zubaira Tukhugov vs. Lerone Murphy
Lightweight: Don Madge vs. Fares Ziam