Khabib Nurmagomedov unified the lightweight title at UFC 242 with a rear naked choke in the third round on interim champion Dustin Poirier on Saturday.
Nurmagomedov constantly pressured his opponent throughout the fight while getting through a big blow in the second round to retain his belt against Poirier, who was interim champion.
It was the Russian’s first fight since serving a lengthy suspension for his part in the ugly melee that followed his victory over Conor McGregor at UFC 229, but Nurmagomedov did not miss a step.
Nurmagomedov (28-0-0) controlled the fight from the get-go grabbing a takedown approximately one minute and 50 seconds into the fight.
From there, he grabbed two more takedowns, put a vicious neck crank on Poirier (25-6, 1 NC) and landed a vicious elbow to go with some ground-and-pound at the end of the round.
Poirier wobbled Nurmagomedov with a big shot early in round two, but the champion was able to recover and landed a takedown a little more than a minute in.
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Nurmagomedov also cut Poirier later on the in the round and that clearly bothered the interim champ down the stretch.
Poirier then was able to grab a guillotine in the third round, but Nurmagomedov fought through it once again and continued to keep the pressure on his opponent.
Nurmagomedov was able to lock up the rear naked choke to end the fight for good.
After another dominant win, it remains to be seen if UFC can finally make the Nurmagomedov versus Tony Ferguson fight with the duo having been tipped to fight for years, but is yet to happen largely due to injuries.