Khabib Nurmagomedov solidifies his place as one of the greatest UFC fighters in history.
Victory never looked so good!
Thirty-year-old mixed martial arts fighter from Russia Khabib Nurmagomedov displayed great form in front of a sell-out crowd at The Arena on Yas Island.
Khabib managed to beat Dustin Poirier into submission in the third round in the fight on 7th September.
The win saw him not only defend his lightweight title but also secure his 28th victory with no losses.
Now he holds the longest undefeated streak in the sport’s history.
“Everything I am is because of my father. I want to say thank you to my team, my brother, my uncles,” Khabib said after the match.
“MMA is about respect; this is what we showed tonight.
“I changed t-shirts with him [Dustin] because I feel we can use this platform to help people.
“I love Abu Dhabi, it’s the safest city in the world. I love the energy.”
The main event was a fitting finale to UFC 242, the mega MMA event hosted here in Abu Dhabi.
The event’s undercard matches were no pushovers either.
Russian slugger Islam Makhachev outlasted Davi Ramos via unanimous judge’s decision.
American Curtis Blaydes punished Shamil Abdurakhimov to claim a TKO in the second-round.
History was also made as the first two women’s UFC fights were staged in Abu Dhabi.
Scotland’s Joanne Calderwood went toe-to-toe with American Andrea Lee to win a split decision. This further bolstered her place as a top-five ranked women’s flyweight contender.
With UFC 242’s rousing success, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the UAE hosting more big UFC events in the near future.
“Our five-year partnership with UFC will become a key component of Abu Dhabi’s thriving events calendar, which is already packed full of great sporting cultural, arts and entertainment events,” said Hassan Al Shaiba, acting executive director of tourism and marketing at Department of Culture & Tourism – Abu Dhabi.
“Securing an annual calendar date for this spectacular MMA event, which has a huge following around the world and in several of Abu Dhabi’s major international source markets, will bring heightened impetus to visitation and boost incoming tourist numbers as fight fans across the world gather in Abu Dhabi.
“The UAE capital and UFC share a vision to cement Abu Dhabi as the undisputed home of MMA in the Arab world,” he added.