UFC 242: Nurmagomedov vs. Poirier Preview

 

By Kyler Kuehler

UFC 242: Nurmagomedov vs. Poirier will air on September 7, 2019, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Early Preliminary Card (Fight Pass)

DON “MAGIC MAN” MADGE (8-3-1) vs FARES “SMILE KILLER” ZIAM (10-2-0)
This is a three-round fight in the lightweight division. Madge brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Ziam brings striking and jiu-jitsu. From what they both possess this fight will be decided on who is the better grappler. Madge holds impressive jiu-jitsu, but Ziam is more efficient with his. He will out grapple him and keep him under his control all the way through. My prediction: Ziam wins via unanimous decision.

OMARI “WOLVERINE” AKHMEDOV (18-4-1) vs ZAC CUMMINGS (23-6-0)
This is a three-round fight in the middleweight division. Akhmedov brings striking, sambo, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Cummings brings Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Cummings’ striking is better with the help of his Muay Thai. However, it will not save him against Akhmedov’s wrestling. Cummings possesses wrestling of his own, but it is not at the level of Akhmedov. My prediction: Akhmedov wins via unanimous decision.

NORDINE TALEB (15-6-0) vs MUSLIM “KING OF KUNG FU” SALIKHOV (14-2-0)
This is a three-round fight in the welterweight division. Taleb brings Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. Salikhov brings kickboxing, Sanda, changqun, and Shuai Jiao. Salikhov holds plenty of striking abilities; they don’t match up to Taleb’s Muay Thai. Yes, Salikhov will be able to strike with Taleb for part of the fight, but only part. He will soon grow tired as the fight progresses and will then leave himself open for a clean attack. My prediction: Taleb wins via knockout in Round 3.

BELAL “REMEMBER THE NAME” MUHAMMAD (15-3-0) vs TAKASHI SATO (15-2-0)
This is a three-round fight in the welterweight division. Muhammad brings boxing and jiu-jitsu. Sato brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Both are well-rounded with jiu-jitsu; Muhammad s better with his striking. Sato doesn’t have much striking and it will cost him. Muhammad will use his boxing to keep Sato at bay while causing serious damage. He will continue this plan of attack until Sato exposes his chin and eats it hard. My prediction: Muhammad wins via knockout in Round 2.

Preliminary Card (FX)

OTTMAN “BULLDOZER” AZAITAR (11-0-0) vs TEEMU “PACU” PACKALEN (8-2-0)
This is a three-round fight in the lightweight division. Azaitar brings Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. Packalen brings boxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Azaitar’s Muay Thai is deadly and appears to get the best of Packalen. That will not be the case as Packalen will avoid his Muay Thai by using his wrestling. Once gaining full control Packalen will unleash vicious ground-and-pound causing Azaitar to become a sitting duck. My prediction: Packalen wins via TKO in Round 1.

LIANA “MGELI” JOJUA (7-2-0) vs SARAH “CHEESECAKE” MORAS (5-5-0)
This is a three-round fight in the women’s bantamweight division. Jojua brings Muay Thai and judo. Moras brings striking and jiu-jitsu. Moras’ jiu-jitsu appears to be trouble against Jojua’s judo. However, Jojua will not need to use any grappling since his Muay Thai will keep Moras at bay. Moras will not be able to withstand that type of power and will be tasting heavy shots. My prediction: Jojua wins via TKO in Round 2.

ZUBAIRA “WARRIOR” TUKHUGOV (18-4-0) vs LERONE “THE MIRACLE” MURPHY (8-0-0)
This is a three-round fight in the featherweight division. Tukhugov brings boxing and sambo. Murphy brings striking and grappling. Based on techniques, Tukhugov will take this fight with ease. His boxing will cause damage to Murphy before bringing him to the ground. There he will use his sambo to control him until he is forced to quit. My prediction: Tukhugov wins via submission in Round 1.

#5 JOANNE “JOJO” CALDERWOOD (13-4-0) vs #6 ANDREA “KGB” LEE (11-2-0)
This is a three-round fight in the women’s flyweight division. Calderwood brings kickboxing, Muay Thai, and jiu-jitsu. Lee brings kickboxing, Muay Thai, Kyokushin, judo, and jiu-jitsu. Both are highly well-rounded; Lee is better with her transitions. She will be able to strike with Calderwood and then turn into a grappler. This will catch Calderwood off guard and give Lee full control throughout the fight. My prediction: Lee wins via unanimous decision.

Main Card (Pay-Per-View – ESPN+)

MAIRBEK “BECKAN” TAISUMOV (28-5-0) vs CARLOS DIEGO FERREIRA (15-2-0)
This is a three-round fight in the lightweight division. Taisumov brings boxing, Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Ferreira brings boxing, judo, and jiu-jitsu. Both are well-round in every aspect; Taisumov is more aggressive. He will attack Ferreira head-on and keep him under pressure. He will then take him to the ground and unleash vicious ground-and-pound, not giving him any time to recover. My prediction: Taisumov wins via TKO in Round 3.

#4 CURTIS “RAZOR” BLAYDES (11-2-0, 1 NC) vs #9 SHAMIL “ABREK” ABDURAKHIMOV (20-4-0)
This is a three-round fight in the heavyweight division. Blaydes brings striking and wrestling. Abdurakhimov brings kickboxing, sanshou, and wrestling. Abdurakhimov brings legitimate wrestling to challenge Blaydes’ wrestling. However, Blaydes is much faster and lands cleaner takedowns. Once bringing Abdurakhimov to the ground he will ground-and-pound him until Abdurakhimov can no longer continue. My prediction: Blaydes wins via TKO in Round 2.

#15 ISLAM MAKHACHEV (17-1-0) vs DAVI “TASMANIAN DEVIL” RAMOS (10-2-0)
This is a three-round fight in the lightweight division. Makhachev brings Muay Thai, Sambo, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling. Ramos brings some striking and jiu-jitsu. From what they possess Makhachev looks to take this fight with ease. His Muay Thai will hurt Ramos right away giving Makhachev the perfect chance to set up a takedown. Once on the ground, he will quickly out grapple Ramos and force him to quit. My prediction: Makhachev wins via submission in Round 1.

#7 EDSON “JUNIOR” BARBOZA (20-7-0) vs #10 PAUL “THE IRISH DRAGON” FELDER (16-4-0)
This is a three-round co-main event in the lightweight division. Barboza brings boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, taekwondo, and jiu-jitsu. Felder brings Muay Thai, taekwondo, karate, and jiu-jitsu. Both are high-level strikers and one will be getting knocked out for sure. Barboza’s kickboxing is his deadliest weapon and will pose a great threat to Felder. However, Felder will use his karate to defend greatly against Barboza’s kickboxing. Felder will then counter with his Muay Thai and hit Barboza just right causing him to go down. My prediction: Felder wins via knockout in Round 2.

(C) KHABIB “THE EAGLE” NURMAGOMEDOV (27-0-0) vs #1(IC) DUSTIN “THE DIAMOND” POIRIER (25-5-0, 1 NC)
This is a five-round main event for the lightweight championship. Nurmagomedov brings sambo, judo, pankration, and wrestling. He is the current champion. Poirier brings boxing and jiu-jitsu. He is the current interim champion. The striking power and speed of Poirier appear to be a major trouble for Nurmagomedov. With that combination, Poirier looks to be the man to dethrone Nurmagomedov once and for all. However, Nurmagomedov is a tough guy that can surely take a hit meaning he will not go down that easy. He will be able to withstand many of Poirier’s strikes until he brings him to the ground. There Nurmagomedov will turn the fight into a full domination game. He will use him elite ground-and-pound to tear Poirier apart. This will cause Poirier to grow weak and allow Nurmagomedov to remain the most dominant lightweight champion. My prediction: Nurmagomedov wins via submission in Round 3.