Significance Of Beating Khabib
Nurmagomedov has looked supremely dominant in every single contest in his UFC career aside a close decision to Gleison Tibau back in 2012. It is this dominance from Khabib that makes Poirier recognise the significance of a victory.
When MMA Fighting asked Poirier was asked what a mean over Nurmagomedov would mean to him he responded by saying:
“It’s huge. It’s history, when I go out there and beat Khabib, it’s not a question of am I the best UFC lightweight. It’s a question of am I the best lightweight to ever fight in mixed martial arts with the run I’m on. Max Holloway, Anthony Pettis, Eddie Alvarez, Khabib Nurmagomedov, winning over those guys in a row in main events, over and over, that’s the best run in lightweight history.”
It’s difficult to argue with Poirier’s logic. Khabib is on a 27 fight, undefeated winning streak and is widely regarded as a pound-for-pound top three fighter and currently sits at number two on the official pound-for-pound rankings. A win for Poirier would put him in the pound-for-pound talks and the best lightweight on the planet talks. Poirier continued by saying:
“If I go out there and stop Khabib, I’m the best lightweight fighter to ever strap on a pair of four-ounce gloves. Simple and plain, I’m not wrong in saying it.”
Just The Beginning
Whilst Poirier would have a stake in the pound-for-pound rankings and a claim to be the best lightweight ever. There would be immediate challenges waiting for him to prove this further should he claim the undisputed title this weekend.
“This is going to start the reign; this is the fight that gives me the undisputed title. But on the other side, this is the fight where I etch my name into the history books forever. Because of this win, I’m going to forever be a part of the best of the best of mixed martial arts. But I’m 30 years old and I still feel like my best fights are ahead of me. I’m starting to hit my stride. This is the beginning of “The Diamond” reign.”
Poirier is confident heading into this fight and appears to be in great physical condition during fight week. Whilst Khabib is the rightful favourite it would be wrong to overlook a hungry and determined challenger in Poirier who could pose some interesting problems for Khabib in the striking should he be able to keep the fight on the feet.