Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier will fight for the undisputed lightweight championship in Abu Dhabi on September 7th.
Khabib Nurmagomedov (27-0) vs Dustin Poirier (25-5) was officially announced by the UFC yesterday and fans won’t have too long to wait as the self proclaimed “leader in MMA” touches down in Abu Dhabi for the first time in the company’s history.
Dustin Poirier was crowned the interim lightweight champion when he put on an impressive display against current featherweight champ, Max Holloway earlier this year.
Khabib who hasn’t fought since submitting Conor McGregor returns to action after serving a lengthy ban following the fracas at UFC 229 which saw Khabib and his team mates initiate a brawl post fight in a fight that became personal following an attack in New York by Conor McGregor.
The stacked lightweight division is moving on in some style as top contenders make their moves to earn a crack at the title and the announcement of Khabib and Poirier will come as good news to those upper echelon fighters as well as the Irish and UK public due to a favourable start time.
Given the time zone (Abu Dhabi being three hours ahead) a traditional PPV would begin at 3am Irish and UK time to cater for the PPV market in America and Canada.
However, with a time zone shift, UFC officials are now looking to have the event begin at a much earlier time which will result in UFC 242’s main card beginning at 7pm GMT.
As per ESPN’s time slot, early prelims will begin at 3:15pm, televised prelims at 5pm and the main card at 7pm GMT.
It’s good news for those fans in Europe who stay awake until past 6am to catch UFC cards and will certainly be welcomed by many.