UFC interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier thinks he will be the first man to beat Khabib Nurmagomedov… before the final of the bout.
The only sliver of doubt in Poirier’s mind is whether it will be a KO/TKO or a submission.
“I keep going back and forth,” Poirier told MMA Junkie. “I feel like I can submit Khabib, but feel like I’m going to stop him. I don’t know how it’s going to happen, but I’m either going to knock him out or I’m going to submit him. I’m going to finish Khabib Nurmagomedov.”
The Louisianan talked about what it meant for him to finally be one win away from a UFC title.
“It’s putting everything together, trying to be the best fighter (and) the best person that I can be. Walking into the octagon Sept. 7, I know I need to be at my best. It’s going to take all of me. It’s going to take all of this preparation done the right way to beat Khabib. I understand that.”
“I’m going to do something that’s never been done and I’m treating it that way. This is history. I’m about to make history.”
Nurmagomedov’s strong wrestling base and signature ground-and-pound attack is well-documented.
“Of course, it’s a huge danger,” Poirier said of Nurmagomedov’s top game.
“I don’t want this guy to get on top of me and start pulling away with rounds. We only have five of them. If you let a guy lay on you for three, you need a finish. That’s not what I’m trying to do in there.”
“I’m not worried about his takedowns so much. I need to hurt this guy. That’s a huge part of this training camp. Putting myself in good positions to win the rounds and win the fight. Staying off the fence. Getting up off the ground. But, at the same time, I need to do what I do.”
— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) August 23, 2019
“I’d love to leave a great legacy, but at the end of the day, we fight for money as well. I can’t fight forever. It just seems a long way to look with what’s stacked against me right now. I don’t want to disrespect what’s ahead of me. I want to focus on that. Once I stop Khabib and raise this belt up in the air unified, then we’ll talk about the future.”
“I have the opportunity to make history and do something that’s never been done. I’m embracing that … I’m just excited that I put myself in this position and that I have an opportunity to show the world how great I am on the biggest scale possible and unify these belts. Make history – that’s what this is about.”