Khabib Nurmagomedov: Dustin Poirier tough, 'but this guy not on my level'

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UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has run through all of his opposition, and he doesn’t see his next fight going any differently.

Nurmagomedov will look to unify the lightweight titles on Sept. 7 when he takes on interim champ Dustin Poirier in the UFC 242 main event at Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.

Last Friday at the UFC summer press conference in Las Vegas, undefeated Nurmagomedov (27-0 MMA, 11-0 UFC) said he respects Poirier’s toughness but expects to maul him, like he’s done with all his previous opponents

“I just want to maul people,” Nurmagomedov said. “This is what I want to do. Doesn’t matter – Dustin, Tony or other opponents. Doesn’t matter. When I go to the cage, I maul my opponents. All my life, 27-0. People talk about his (six-fight) win streak. What about 27 win streak? Eleven years undefeated. I don’t underestimate this guy. I know he’s tough challenge. But this guy not on my level.”

Nurmagomedov (27-0 MMA, 11-0 UFC) is coming off the biggest win of his career, a dominant fourth-round submission finish over Conor McGregor, which marked his first title defense.

Poirier (25-5-1 MMA, 17-4-1 UFC) captured the interim belt by defeating featherweight champ Max Holloway via unanimous decision in April. Nurmagomedov admits he was a little surprised with Poirier’s win and believes the “Diamond” is in for an experience unlike any other.

“Dustin is tough guy,” Nurmagomedov said. “He have more than 20 fight in UFC. He have good experience. Honestly, last fight I expect Max is going to beat him…”

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