The Octagon has touched down once again in Abu Dhabi for what is shaping up to be one of the biggest events of the year. UFC superstar and lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov makes his much anticipated return against fan favorite and interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier.
It's been nearly a full year since Nurmagomedov made Conor McGregor tap in Las Vegas. Since then his profile has only grown and fans cannot wait to see the fighter from Dagestan get back to mauling 155-lb challengers. But the man who will be standing across from him on Saturday is no push over. In fact he's one of the most determined men in the sport. Poirier has worked his way up, brick by brick for a chance to prove that he's the best in the world - and on Saturday he'll finally have that opportunity.
UFC 242's co-main event should be just as explosive as Edson Barboza and Paul Felder run it back. The first match-up between these two was a firefight, with Barboza pulling ahead on points and earning a unanimous decision. But after years have gone by, it's clear that both fighters have evolved into even more dangerous mixed martial artists. Buckle up, this one is going to be fun.
The rest of the card is littered with fighters on big-time win streaks such as Islam Makachev (6-fight win streak), Mairbek Taisumov (7-fight win streak), Carlos Diego Ferreira (4-fight win steak) and Andrea Lee (3-fight win streak). It's not going to be a card you'll want to miss.
Get ready for UFC 242 by watching the past performances of some of the card’s biggest stars and prospects. Watch the whole collection here: https://www.ufc.tv/category/ufc-242-fights-to-watch
After defeating Rafael Dos Anjos, it was clear that Khabib Nurmagomedov was a force to be reckoned with. "The Eagle" would spend 2015 outside of the Octagon but he would return in 2016 against Darrell Horcher in a big way.
Anthony Pettis is one of the most dangerous fighters in MMA, there's no doubt about it. Dustin Poirier embraced the challenge and was able to defeat Pettis in a bloody back and forth battle.
Watching an Edson Barboza fight makes me anxious. I know at any second he could demolish his opponent with crazy powerful leg kicks, spinning heel kicks, powerful punches and devastating body shots. If you want to see the full range of Barboza's spectacular skills, watch his dominant performance against Dan Hooker at UFC Milwaukee.
It's no secret that Paul Felder simply enjoys violence. "The Irish Dragon" unleashed that violence at UFC 218 against submission ace Charles Olivera, earning himself an important win in the lightweight division.
There is a reason for all the hype behind Islam Makhachev and it isn't because he is on Nurmagomedov's team. It's because Makhachev is a dominant force in the Octagon and he understands how to take his opponents into deep water and finish them. In his bout with Kajan Johnson in Calgary last July, he showed once again why he is going to be a contender at lightweight.
Curtis Blaydes is a beast and if you had any questions about it, just go watch his UFC 225 bout with perennial title challenger Alistair Overeem. "Razor" Blaydes is dominant and displays his vicious ground and pound until the referee is forced to end the fight.
"JoJo" Calderwood loves to put on a show and against flyweight prospect Ariane Lipski, she did just that. Calderwood showed developments in her game and gave the "Queen of Violence" a rough introduction to the UFC.
Andrea Lee has been on the rise since making her UFC debut against Veronica Macedo. She knew she was going to have a bigger test in front of her at UFC Phoenix when she battled with Ashlee Evans-Smith. The pressure was not an issue for Lee and she took care of business in dominant fashion.
Watch the whole UFC 242 collection on UFC Fight Pass right here: https://www.ufc.tv/category/ufc-242-fights-to-watch
Don’t miss a second of one of UFC’s biggest events of the year. UFC 242: Khabib vs Poirier early prelims start at 10am ET on Fight Pass. Prelims, headlined by flyweights Joanne Calderwood and Andrea Lee start at 12pm ET on FX.
At 2pm ET, lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov defends his belt against interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier.