Nurmagomedov (27-0 MMA, 11-0 UFC) has a relatively similar gameplan for essentially every one of his fights, and it revolves around taking his opponents to the ground and using his grappling to get the win.
There are no major changes for the meeting with Poirier (25-5 MMA, 17-4 UFC).
“Dustin Poirier’s a very tough opponent,” Nurmagomedov said Wednesday at UFC 242 open workouts.
“I don’t want to underestimate him. He has a lot of experience. But when I go to the cage, my plan is make him tired, make him tap. This is my plan.”
Nurmagomedov’s fight with Poirier marks his return to the octagon after nearly 11 months. Nurmagomedov submitted Conor McGregor at UFC 229 in October but was subsequently suspended for his role in the infamous post-fight brawl.
Now in the clear to come back and fight often, Nurmagomedov said he has an unwavering vision for his future.
“I want to stay in lightweight division, because I feel I can make this weight. This is my weight, and I don’t want to jump to another division – featherweight or welterweight. I want to stay in this division and defend my title and improve my legacy.”
UFC 242 takes place Saturday at The Arena in Yas Island. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and ESPN+/UFC Fight Pass.