Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier seems indeed to be the next step for the lightweight division of the UFC. UFC lightweight champion Nurmagomedov admitted on Saturday in the post-war UFC St. Petersburg that he was surprised by the provisional title win by Poirier against Max Holloway at UFC 236 and said that the preliminary talks for a settlement match between He and Poirier started for September, probably at UFC 241 in Abu Dhabi.
"I think it was a very good performance by Dustin Poirier," said Nurmagomedov on ESPN +. "Honestly, before the fight, I thought Holloway would beat him. This is my prediction when talking with fans, with dad, with the team. But he impresses me. Dustin impressed me.
"I think he has very good boxing, much better than before. In every fight he gets stronger and better in boxing, on his feet. And I think he deserves the title show of 1
Nurmagomedov (27-0) currently has a nine-month suspension after his fight after battling with members of the Conor McGregor team after his unilateral defeat by McGregor at UFC was triggered 229 in October 2018.
Nurmagomedov is an undefeated Sambo joker who has been ruthlessly overrunning the UFC's lightweight division since joining the 2012 promotion, including Rafael dos Anjos. His battle with McGregor at UFC 229 shattered records as the best-selling pay-per-view of mixed martial arts history.
Poirier (25-5, 1 NC) has now proven to be a force to be reckoned with. The UFC lightweight section follows a long roller coaster road to gold.
In the UFC 236, the 30-year-old American clinched the provisional lightweight title with his 22nd Octagon appearance in a highly competitive victory against Holloway. Poirier will now play a four-round winning streak in his title-making match against Nurmagomedov, a run highlighted by impressive wins over Anthony Pettis, Justin Gaethje, Eddie Alvarez and Holloway.
"For a long time, I follow him. He has a very good background, "Nurmagomedov said about Poirier. "He has good ground clearance, not bad. He has a good punching game. I follow him for a long time. And against me? I think I have to beat him as I do with everyone. I have to do that. I respect him as a fighter, as a human, but when we go into the cage, I have to beat up that guy. This is what I want. And now I'm focused on September, five months before the fight, and I think it will be a very good fight with him. "