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By Simon Head
Even the UFC octagon has landed at the desert night as Abu Dhabi plays host on Saturday.
Because he faces champion Dustin Poirier in a title unification bout, and also the world champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is place for the event.
The undefeated Russian has published a record and recently completed Conor McGregor through fourth-round submission at UFC 229 in 2018.
Despite his own record and displays during his UFC career, 30, Nurmagomedov, said he is accepting the challenge of Poirier but confessed his strategy isn’t any different to his matchups because he appears to defend his name.
“Dustin Poirier’s a very challenging competition,” Nurmagomedov stated on Wednesday in the UFC 242 receptive work outs. “I do not wish to underestimate him. He’s got a great deal of experience. But when I visit the cage, then my strategy would be to make him tired, allow him to tap. That is my strategy.”
Nurmagomedov faces a surging competitor who thinks his crowning moment is represented by their event matchup as a fighter.
America’s Poirier, 30, heads into the octagon as the UFC lightweight champion, having conquered world champion Max Holloway in April and is in the best form of his career.
Speaking at the work outs that were open underdog Poirier said he’s ready to show the doubters wrong.
“I’ve had naysayers my entire life and overcome the chances,” he said.
“I am just in the moment, appreciative of this opportunity and will not let it slip through my fingers. I am here in order to take benefit of the, capitalise and be the undisputed world champion.
“I have had classes in declines and picking myself off the ground. Being undefeated is incredible. It is tough to do, particularly against the competition he’s [Nurmagomedov] . However, I’ve learned lessons during triumph and error he’s never learned, through trial. There is something about picking yourself up off the floor again and again and still chasing your dreams.
“I just can’t be broken. I will not be broken. I am here to make history”
Additionally high in the invoice from Abu Dhabi are fighters that are lightweight that are top Brazilian Edson Barboza and American Paul Felder, who confront each other within an rematch.
This battle has no bad blood or trash talk, with Felder stating true lovers of martial arts may appreciate their approach – and the struggle.
“This is about martial arts for me personally,” Felder said in the open workouts.
“It is because I love what I do. That Edson is. I guarantee that’s what we’re likely to place on display for you guys, a warfare of martial arts and ethics.”
Two fighters at various points in their careers are set to face competitors on Saturday.
The Joanne Calderwood of scotland is currently looking to push her promises for a shot at the women title in her 10th UFC competition with victory over contender Andrea Lee.
And Manchester’s undefeated lightweight Lerone Murphy will seem to spring a jolt on his octagon introduction when he takes on the team-mate Zubaira Tukhugov of Nurmagomedov on the first card card.