Khabib Nurmagomedov is back in action at UFC 242. After defeating Conor McGregor in the biggest UFC fight of all time, Khabib is now a bonafide superstar in his own right, hoping to add to that perfect undefeated record of his. His opponent? Interim Lightweight champ Dustin Poirier, a super well-rounded competitor fresh off a spectacular win over Max Holloway in a five round war back at UFC 236.
Can Khabib make it to 28-0?
This is actually a more compelling match-up than you might think. Let’s break it all down.
So this is a weird one. Most UFC cards kick off on a Saturday night, with the main card starting at 10 p.m. But with UFC 242 it’s different, the UFC is in Abu Dhabi. That makes for a fairly skewed timing situation.
The event kicks off Saturday, Sept. 7, but the fights will kick off earlier than usual.
The Main Card starts at 2 p.m. (ET)
The Prelims start at 12 p.m. (ET)
The Early Prelims start at 10 a.m. (ET)
The Main Card starts at 7 p.m. (GMT)
The Prelims start at 5 p.m. (GMT)
The Early Prelims start at 3 p.m. (GMT)
(Please note in Australia UFC 242 starts on Sunday, Sept. 8.)
The Main Card starts at 4 a.m. (AEST)
The Prelims start at 2 a.m. (AEST)
The Early Prelims start at 12 a.m. (AEST)
For those in other regions, the UFC has a very handy time checker here.
This is a fairly top heavy card. The main event is super strong and the undercard is packed with a number of fairly important fights for the Lightweight division as a whole. Here’s who is fighting…
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirer
Edson Barboza vs. Paul Felder
Islam Makhachev vs. Davi Ramos
Curtis Blaydes vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov
Mairbek Taisumov vs. Diego Ferreira
Andrea Lee vs. Joanne Calderwood
Zubaira Tukhugov vs. Lerone Murphy
Liana Jojua vs. Sarah Moras
Ottman Azaitar vs. Teemu Packalen
Belal Muhammad vs. Takashi Sato
Nordine Taleb vs. Muslim Salikhov
Omari Akhmedov vs. Zak Cummings
Don Madge vs. Fares Ziam
How to watch
This year the UFC entered a new partnership with ESPN. That’s great news for the UFC and the expansion of the sport of MMA, bad news for consumer choice. If you live in the US especially.
In the US
In the US, you can only watch UFC 242 on PPV through ESPN+.
If you already have an ESPN+ subscription you can buy the event for $60.
In the UK
MMA fans in the UK can watch UFC 242 exclusively through BT Sport.
More options if you live in Australia. You can watch UFC 242 through Main Event on Foxtel. You can also watch on the UFC website or using its app. You can even order using your PlayStation 4 or using the UFC app on your Xbox One.
Is it worth watching?
Abso-frickin-lutely. And don’t let anyone tell you any different.
Sure, Nurmagomedov is a destroyer and unbeaten during a historic UFC run, but he is beatable. A beaten down, exhausted Conor McGregor was able to take a round from him in their fight last year, and while McGregor beat Poirier during his Featherweight run, Poirier is one of the most improved fighters the UFC has ever seen.
Poirier himself just beat Holloway, one of the pound-for-pound best fighters on the planet. Poirier has power, good defensive wrestling and slick boxing. He’s also overcome obstacles in his career and developed an iron will in the process. That’s what it takes to beat Khabib, who notoriously breaks people psychologically and physically by wrestling the strength out of opponents during gruelling early rounds.
Poirier might be able to push past that. Make no mistake: He is a live underdog in this fight and has a strong chance to dethrone the champ.
You don’t want to miss this fight.