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UFC 242 live blog: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier

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Khabib Nurmagomedov faces off with Dustin Poirier ahead of their lightweight championship unification bout in Saturday’s main event at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

This is the UFC 242 live blog for Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier, a lightweight championship unification bout at Saturday’s UFC event at The Arena in Abu Dhabi.

Khabib Nurmagomedov, who heads into his second title defense with a 27-0 record, faces Dustin Poirier, who has won five straight (excluding one no contest) and enters this matchup with an interim title, in the main event.

Check out the UFC 242 live blog below.

Round 1: Marc Goddard will oversee this championship main event. Tentative start, Nurmagomedov catches Poirier’s foot off of a kick, but doesn’t over-pursue. Plenty of time for both men to work here. Poirier comfortable throwing kicks, he lands on Nurmagomedov’s leg. Nurmagomedov gets loose, throwing a few punches and then explodes for a single leg. Well-defended by Poirier, he’s working to stop Nurmagomedov from dragging him down against the fence now. Nurmagomedov threatens to maneuver to the back, then lifts Poirier up and momentarily gets him down. He has the body lock. Poirier scrambling, but Nurmagomedov is right there with him and he’s got the back now. He’s working on a crank, Poirier not fighting the hands, doesn’t appear to be in danger. Punches from the top by Nurmagomedov, he’s using his hand to cover Poirier’s face and nose. He’s hunting for a choke again, possibly a neck crank. Poirier stands up, Nurmagomedov still all over him. Knee to the body in the clinch by Poirier. Nurmagomedov gets the trip. Poirier looking at the clock. Another trip by Poirier as he tries to stand. Again, Poirier attempts to switch, but Nurmagomedov just stays locked in and he’s sitting on Poirier’s legs now. Short punches in close and then heavy elbows to close the round by Nurmagomedov.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-8, Nurmagomedov.

Round 2: Nurmagomedov leaps in with a jumping knee, then fires some punches. He can’t get a hold of Poirier this time. Poirier lands a clean hook and follows with a flurry, he has Nurmagomedov on the run now. Nurmagomedov recovers and he’s staying in there with Poirier, narrowly avoiding the challenger’s power. After 90 suspenseful seconds, he finds an opening for the takedown and puts Poirier on his back. Poirier has a death grip on those legs and Poirier has to scoot back over to the fence. There’s some damage over Poirier’s left eye. Poirier stands, Nurmagomedov pressuring with punches. The champ gets low and Poirier is doing what he can to stay upright. Nurmagomedov drives forward for the takedown and he is just forcing Poirier to use all his energy to get back up. The last four minutes, Poirier was completely neutralized.

MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Nurmagomedov. Overall, 20-17 Nurmagomedov.

Round 3: Poirier having trouble finding his rhythm, he’s letting Nurmagomedov come to him. Nurmagomedov with a straight punch, then he shoots in, Poirier jumps guard for a guillotine choke attempt. The head is controlled, but Nurmagomedov is perfectly calm, his body free. He pops his head out and now he’s on top once more. Nurmagomedov methodically works for the choke and Poirier has to tap out.

Official result: Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Dustin Poirier via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:06 of round three