Khabib Nurmagomedov delivered yet another dominant performance inside the UFC octagon against Dustin “Diamond” Poirier to retain his lightweight title against the interim champion.
Round one opened with Poirier keeping his distance and throwing a few calf kicks to keep Nurmagomedov at bay. But just before the three-minute mark Nurmagomedov drove him against the fence for the first of many takedowns. He soon transitioned to the back once Poirier turned into turtle, and began working a neck crank similar to his last fight. Poitier worked out of several neck crank attempts and stands, but Nurmagomedov keeps control of the back and repeatedly trips Poirier against the cage. Round one ends with Nurmagomedov in mount raining down strikes on the BJJ black belt.
Round two opens much more favorably for Poirier, with much more explosive stand up early on. Poirier lands a big right and looks much more in controll on the feet. Unfortunately for him Nurmagomedov shoots a double leg at 3:40 of the round and moves right into knee on belly against the fence. From here Nurmagomedov works his usual gameplay of hooking both Poirier’s legs from mount and controls his hands while landing strikes. Poitier once again gives up his back but is able to stand against the cage. Nurmagomedov repeatedly trips him from controlling his back against the cage and once again ends the round on top.
Round three opens with a brief but fierce exchange before Nurmagomedov lands yet another takedown. But before taking him down, Poirier controlls Nurmagomedov’s head and lands in a deep guillotine with one leg over the back. Poirier holds this sub until Nurmagomedov slips his head out, leaving his right arm gassed and his opponent in top position. From here Nurmagomedov takes the back for the final time and slips in a picture perfect rear naked choke, quickly getting the tap at 2:05 if round three and preserving his undefeated run.
Unlike his very infamous last fight, Nurmagomedov is joyous and respectful towards his opponent. “My last fight was with bullshit guy [McGregor], but I want to forget about all that. MMA is all about respect,” Nurmagomedov said. He then thanked his camp and his father, this being his first time cornering his son in the UFC, and expressed a desire to rest before stating who he wishes to fight next. This leaves the champ at 28-0-0 and Poirier at 25-6-0.