Khabib Nurmagomedov continued his undefeated run Saturday, submitting Dustin Poirier in the third round of the main event at UFC 242 to retain the lightweight title.
Nurmagomedov (28-0) didn't miss a beat after an 11-month layoff, displaying dominant pace in the opening stanza, landing several takedowns, and threatening with submission attempts.
In the second round, the American Top Team product came out with more aggression and tagged Nurmagodmedov, forcing "The Eagle" to back up. But after initially failing to connect with combinations, Nurmadomedov landed another takedown and kept Poirier on his back for most of the round.
Poirier landed a guillotine choke in the third round for what was likely his best chance to win the fight, but couldn't submit his opponent. The AKA standout landed more punches and eventually submitted Poirier once the fight hit the mat.
Nurmadomedov also took a verbal jab at former opponent Conor McGregor while praising Poirier post-match.
"Last fight with bullshit guy (McGregor), we had a lot of crazy stuff. We show really what is this MMA. MMA, No. 1 thing is respect," Nurmagomedov said. "MMA is not about trash talking. This is what we show with Dustin Poirier and his great team."
With Nurmagomedov securing his 12th straight win in the UFC, a showdown with former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson in his next bout now seems inevitable. Watch my reaction to Nurmagomedov's win below and subscribe to theScoreMMA Youtube channel here.