Khabib Nurmagomedov dismantles Dustin Poirier to retain UFC lightweight belt
That was about as dominant as you can get.
Khabib Nurmagomedov cruised to 28-0 in MMA after he forced interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier to tap out midway through the third round of their UFC 242 title fight.
The undisputed lightweight champion was back after 11 months out of The Octagon - much of that down to his ban for the post UFC 229 brawl - yet he showed not a single sign of rust.
Poirier had won the interim strap after going on an impressive winning streak in the 155lbs division and seeing off featheweight champ Max Holloway earlier this year. The Louisiana native felt that destiny was on his side but he did not reckon on Nurmagomedov's supreme power and technique.
The first round saw 'The Eagle' feel out Poirier before taking him down against the cage and sapping his opponent's strength without ever really seeking to lock in a submission. Round two was the highlight for Poirier as he twice rocked Nurmagomedov with right hands but, possibly still fatigued after the first round grind, could not floor the accelerator.
Instead, Nurmagomedov connected with some leg kicks, backed Poirier up and took him down for another brutal three and a half minutes of control time.
Poirier was geed up by his corner before going into the third round and he managed to lock in a guillotine on the Dagestani that looked pretty tight. Nurmagomedov did not panic, kept moving his hips side to side and managed to get his head out of the wrench.
Not only did he get out, he got on top again. Poirier was softened up with a couple of shots and the rear naked choke was locked in. 'Diamond' tapped after a few seconds of extreme pressure and it was all over.
After winning the fight, Nurmagomedov must have had UFC president Dana White worried as he vaulted the fence but there were only hugs and cheers on this occasion.
This would be no repeat of the UFC 229 fiasco and the champ was mobbed by overjoyed fight fans, with a ruffled White smiling broadly.
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) September 7, 2019
The greatest lightweight fighter of all time is back and he has just claimed another victim.