UFC 242: Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier showdown is set for Abu Dhabi card

Sport360 staff 21:35 04/06/2019
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Khabib Nurmagomedov

Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will face interim belt holder Dustin Poirier for undisputed status at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi, the promotion has confirmed.

The Muslim fighter will be competing for the first time since a dominant fourth-round submission victory over Conor McGregor at UFC 229 last October.

Nurmagomedov was suspended for nine months following his involvement in the post-fight melee between his team and rival McGregor’s team but will look to defend his belt for a second time on September 7.

Poirier, who is unbeaten in his last six fights, elevated himself into interim-champ status after a deeply impressive victory over the reigning featherweight king Max Holloway at UFC 236.

UFC president Dana White confirmed after that triumph he would be next in line to challenge Nurmagomedov and the two will now headline the blockbuster event.

It will mark the first pay-per-view card the promotion has hosted in Abu Dhabi since UFC 112 back in 2010 having held a Fight Night event in 2014.

The venue is still to be decided but it will most likely require a bespoke built indoor arena with a capacity of up to 16,000.

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman, Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, last month said: “Although we don’t yet have an arena that accommodates the capacity of such a mega event and its huge number of spectators, DCT Abu Dhabi is committed to building an arena for this event which can give the international event experience to UAE’s spectators.

“We are regularly contacting and meeting the UFC team from Las Vegas to review the technical requirements and to integrate them into our plans.

“Our flagship arena development is on-track and we are set to hand it over to the UFC’s team in August, ahead of the event.”

UFC 242 will air live on pay-per-view exclusively through the ESPN+ streaming service. Tickets will go on sale on Ticketmaster from noon on Friday.

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