The Eagle, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Smashes The Diamond And Prepares For What’s Next

13 September 2019

Just in case you haven’t caught up with the news yet, lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov continued his legendary undefeated 28-0 record last Saturday with a submission win on Dustin Poirier (25-6) at UFC 242. The Eagle said after the game, "MMA is about respect, this is what we showed tonight.” For him and his fans, it seems the best is yet to come.

Khabib’s Most Recent Fight

Saturday’s fight was back and forth, though Nurmagomedov was the clear favorite. But early in the third round, Poirier nearly had Nurmagomedov in a guillotine choke. It seemed, against all odds, like Poirier’s hard work was about to pay off. He’d trained heavily to prepare to take on the Eagle. Poirier fought just like he trained: hard. In the end, though, Khabib landed a rough rear naked choke on Poirier, and that was the fatal blow. Poirier tapped midway through the third round.

Poirier, who’d worked out, trained, and prepared emotionally for the fight, was thoroughly defeated by Nurmagomedov, the Eagle. "I feel like I let myself down," Poirier said after the fight. He plans to take a good look at himself in the mirror after this. A win against Khabib was all he’d wanted.

Poirier shouldn’t feel too badly, though. It’s not just he who’s been trumped. Far from it—his record is undefeated, after all. In almost the entirety of the first ten minutes of this past match, Khabib was in total control. He took Poirier down seven times in those first minutes. The “Eagle of Dagestan” is 30 years old and weighs 155 lbs. He’s on a 27 fight win streak, and he’s just won his 12th straight UFC fight. Khabib strikes with 50% accuracy, and has landed 657 significant strikes in his UFC career.

Khabib Nurmagomedov holds Dustin Poirier on the arena’s edge Source: Christopher Pike/Reuters for AlJazeera

“Next for me is Coca-Cola with steak”

It’s true that at this point, with such a winning streak going, it looks like Khabib Nurmagomedov is unbeatable. And you might be wondering what he has planned next. A rematch against McGregor? Retirement? A foray into the welterweight category? Turns out, all of those are possibilities.

But don’t forget that Tony Ferguson is also waiting for him. The Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson fight has been teased before—it’s been scheduled and cancelled four separate times. But now, it seems like Ferguson won’t be able to hold off long. If (and when) the fight does finally happen, it’ll be big money. A fight between Ferguson and Nurmagomedov will feature the two longest streaks ever seen in the history of UFC.

There are also talks of a charity fight that might happen in Africa. He mentioned at an MMA Post-Fight Press Conference that he’s concerned about clean water in Africa, and he’d like to do his part to help—as soon as the arena is built for the fight. Ideally, he’d like to fight the legendary welterweight Georges St Pierre. The sooner, the better. “They can build this arena in (the) next three months,” Khabib said at the press conference. “Maybe January, February, March, we can fight in someplace like Congo, why not? And all money that we make, we can use on charity in Africa or something.”

And then there’s Conor McGregor, who tweeted that he wouldn’t mind getting a rematch with the Eagle. "Book my rematch for Moscow,” he tweeted immediately following Khabib’s fight. UFC President Dana White said Ferguson gets the next shot at Khabib, but if Ferguson refuses the fight for any reason, McGregor is ready. “Conor McGregor wants that fight really badly, and I’m sure the fans would want to see it. So, we’ll see how this whole thing plays out,” White said after Khabib won the UFC 242.

Or, as Nurmagomedov said moments after the recent fight, he could just take a pause to have a Coke and some steak. With 28 straight wins under his belt and more glory and money sure to come, he’s deserved it. And some food and relaxation sounds pretty good for right now.

Nurmagomedov talks with reporters after the fight

Source: Christopher Pike/Reuters for AlJazeera


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