Check UFC.COM for UFC 242: Khabib vs Dustin Poirier live results, backstage interviews and other card updates from The Arena, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov defends his championship against interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier in the main event live at 2pm ET.
Edson Barboza and Paul Felder step back into the Octagon for a rematch at 155 lbs in the co-main event.
UFC flyweights Joanne Calderwood and Andrea Lee headline the prelims on FX at 12pm ET.
UFC FIGHT PASS Early Prelims, 10: 15am/7: 15am ETPT
Don Madge (30-27 x 2, 29-28) def Fares Ziam by Unanimous Decision
South Africa’s Don Madge made it two for two in the Octagon, as he won a three-round unanimous decision over French newcomer Fares Ziam in the lightweight opener.
Scores were 30-27 twice and 29-28 for Madge, now 9-3-1. Ziam falls to 10-3.
Smothering Ziam’s striking attack throughout all three rounds with solid work in the clinch and on the mat, Madge wasn’t as explosive as he was in his UFC debut against Te Edwards, but he did what he needed to in order to secure the near-shutout victory.
Omari Akhmedov (30-27 x 2, 29-28) def Zak Cummings by Unanimous Decision
Russia’s Omari Akhmedov continued to roll at 185 pounds, moving to 2-0-1 in the division with a three-round unanimous decision over Zak Cummings.
After a first round that saw Cummings score a flash knockdown of his foe, Akhmedov began to take over, with key takedowns and ground work allowing him to pull ahead and stay there.
Scores were 30-27 twice and 29-28 for Akhmedov, now 19-4-1. Cummings falls to 23-7.
Muslim Salikhov def Nordine Taleb by TKO at 4: 16 in Round 1
“The King of Kung Fu” continued to add to his highlight reel in welterweight action, as Muslim Salikhov knocked out Nordine Taleb in the first round.
Salikhov was patient in his attack, testing out his usual array of kicks. But it was a flush right hand to the jaw that ended matters, as he dropped Taleb hard to the mat, with referee Herb Dean stepping in immediately at the 4: 26 mark of the opening frame.
Dagestan’s Salikhov moves to 15-2 with the win. Montreal’s Taleb falls to 15-7.
Belal Muhammad def Takashi Soto by submission due to a Rear Naked Choke at 1: 55 in Round 3
Welterweight up and comer Belal Muhammad earned his first submission win in Abu Dhabi, as he finished Japan’s Takashi Sato in the third round.
Muhammad was on target with his left hand early and often in the first round, rocking Sato and even scoring a flash knockdown with that potent weapon. With less than a minute to go, Muhammad slammed Sato to the mat and took his opponent’s back, but he ran out of time before he could finish the fight.
By round three, though, Muhammad got what he was chasing when another ground sequence saw him take Sato’s back and sink in the rear naked choke that forced the gutsy Sato to tap out. The official time of the finish was 1: 55 of round three.
With the win, Muhammad improves to 16-3. Sato falls to 15-3.
FX Prelims, 12pm/9am ETPT
Ottman Azaitar def Teemu Packalen by KO at 3: 31 in Round 1
Unbeaten lightweight Ottman Azaitar made quite the impact in his UFC debut, as he knocked out Finland’s Teemu Packalen in a single round.
Morocco’s Azaitar was throwing bombs with bad intentions whenever Packalen entered his punching range, and after rocking the Turku product several times it was clear that it was only a matter of time until the end came. And it came at of the opening round, after a flush right hand sent Packalen to the canvas face first, with referee Peter Hickmott stepping in at the 3: 33 mark to the halt the bout.
Azaitar moves to 12-0 with the win. Packalen falls to 8-3.Azaitar
Sarah Moras def Liana Jojua by TKO at 2: 26 in Round 3
Bantamweight veteran Sarah Moras impressively snapped a three-fight losing streak, stopping Georgian newcomer Liana Jojua in the third round.
Moras took control early in the first round and she never gave up that role, with her dominance in the clinch and on the mat evident throughout. Jojua was game but a step behind all night, and after a series of unanswered ground strikes in the third round, referee Marc Goddard had seen enough, halting the bout at the 2: 26 mark.
With the win, Moras, who missed weight for the bout at 138 pounds, evens up her record at 6-6. Jojua falls to 7-3.
Zubaira Tukhugov and Lerone Murphy fought to a split draw (29-28, 28-29, 28-28)
In action for the first time since May 2016, Russian featherweight Zubaira Tukhugov held off a spirited charge from British newcomer Lerone Murphy, with the result being a three-round draw.
Scores were 29-28, 28-29 and 28-28.
Searching for a right hand early on, Tukhugov (18-4-1) was able to score a knockdown on the striker in the second minute, and while Murphy (8-0-1) appeared to clear his head quickly, Tukhugov was on him and wasn’t letting go, as he swarmed with strikes while also implementing a smothering grappling attack.
In the second, Tukhugov continued to score takedowns and control the ground action, but Murphy was far from done, as he attempted a couple submissions on the mat and landed several good shots on the Russian, setting up an interesting final round. And despite the heat in the arena draining both fighters’ gas tanks, it was Tukhugov who was able to use his grappling once again to control the action, but it wasn’t enough to get the win.
Joanne Calderwood (30-27, 29-28) def Andrea Lee (29-28) by split decision
In a closely-contested battle of flyweight contenders, Joanne Calderwood took a hard-fought three-round split decision over Andrea Lee.
Scores were 30-27, 29-28 and 28-29 for the No. 5-ranked Calderwood, now 14-4. The No. 6-ranked Lee falls to 11-3.
The flyweights set the pace high from the start, each getting in their shots, but Calderwood holding the advantage thanks to good use of her range as well as a hard elbow at close range. But one Lee was able to get the fight to the mat with less than 90 seconds left, it was “KGB” now able to take the lead.
The second round was close as well, but it was Lee doing better when the fight hit the mat. Calderwood did score a late takedown of her own, though, keeping things interesting, and in the third round, the Scotland native was able to do what was necessary to pick up an important victory.
ESPN+ Main Card, 2pm/11am ETPT
Diego Ferreira (29-28, 29-27 x 2) def Mairbek Taisumov by Unanimous Decision
Surging lightweight Diego Ferreira won his fifth straight while snapping Mairbek Taisumov’s six-fight winning streak, earning a three-round unanimous decision victory in the main card opener.
Scores were 29-28 and 29-27 twice for Ferreira, now 16-2. Taisumov falls to 27-6.
There was plenty of high-level action in the first frame, with Ferreira stalking and Taisumov fighting well with his counters. And though it was Ferreira being the busier of the two, Taisumov landed the most significant strike of the round, a right hand with just over two minutes left that rattled the Brazilian briefly.
Keeping the pace high, Ferreira continued to throw with volume, his march only stopped by a warning from referee Herb Dean for head butting. Once the action resumed, Ferreira was still pressing the action, but Taisumov was still getting his shots in, albeit with a little less steam as the fight progressed. The third round, though, was all Ferreira, who picked up speed as Taisumov slowed down, leaving no question on the scorecards.
Curtis Blaydes def Shamil Abdurakhimov by TKO at 2: 22 in Round 2
Curtis Blaydes put together a flawless performance in his clash with fellow heavyweight contender, stopping Shamil Abdurakhimov in less than two rounds.
Blaydes needed less than 30 seconds to get the fight to the mat, and though Abdurakhimov got back up quickly, he was dumped to the canvas again moments later. With 3: 30 left, Abdurakhimov got free, but you can guess what happened next. And again. And again. With a final barrage of ground strikes by Blaydes at the end of the round nearly finishing the fight.
Nothing changed for Abdurakhimov in the second round, and after more unanswered blows and an elbow that opened up the Russian’s nose, referee Marc Goddard stopped the fight at the 2: 22 mark.
With the win, the No. 4-ranked Blaydes ups his record to 12-2, 1 NC. The No. 9-ranked Abdurakhimov falls to 20-5.
Islam Makhachev (30-26 x 2, 29-27) def Davi Ramos by Unanimous Decision
Lightweight contender Islam Makhachev extended his current winning streak to six with a three-round unanimous decision win over Davi Ramos.
Scores were 29-27 and 30-26 twice.
After a slow first round, the two grapplers remained on their feet in the second, with Makhachev playing it cool with an effective striking attack that bloodied Ramos. The action heated early in the third, as Makhachev hurt Ramos and nearly finished him with a barrage of blows. Ramos shook off his opponent’s assault, but now he was on his back and unable to escape, with Makhachev keeping the ground pressure on until the final horn.
With the win, the No. 15-ranked Makhachev moves to 18-1. Rio de Janeiro’s Ramos falls to 10-3.
Paul Felder (30-27, 29-28) def Edson Barboza (30-27) by Split Decision.
After six rounds and 30 minutes together, lightweights Paul Felder and Edson Barboza are dead even, as Felder avenged his 2015 loss to the Brazilian banger with a three-round split decision victory in the UFC 242 co-main event.
Scores were 30-27, 29-28 and 27-30 for the No. 10-ranked Felder, now 17-4. The No. 7-ranked Barboza falls to 20-8.
Barboza didn’t hesitate to begin firing off kicks to Felder’s legs, and the Philadelphian responded with spinning backfists that didn’t deter Barboza. Soon, the attacks went upstairs and Felder was bloodied after a clash of heads, but “The Irish Dragon” was as unmovable as the Brazilian, as he kept throwing shots with equally bad intentions.
In the second minute of round two, Barboza scored a takedown, but a Felder elbow had the blood flowing from the head of “Junior,” who then had to deal with an armbar attempt before the two rose. Now it was clear that the war was on, with each shot thrown with the idea of ending the fight.
The speed of Barboza continued to play a significant role in the Brazilian landing his shots flush in the third, but as the round wore on, it was Felder landing more and more blows, making it another close frame as the bout drew to a close.
Rubber match, anyone?
Khabib Nurmagomedov def Dustin Poirier by submission due to a Rear Naked Choke at 2: 06 in Round 3
No fighter gets to 28-0 without being one of the best in the world, but after a third round submission win over Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 242, undisputed UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov may have to be included in the all-time great conversation.
He was that dominant. And he achieved the feat doing everything he was expected to do. But Poirier and 27 previous opponents haven’t been able to stop him.
That makes him a special fighter.
After a brief feeling out process, Nurmagomedov used a quick 1-2 to set up a takedown attempt in the second minute, and with 2: 52 left, he had the back of his foe. Poirier stayed cool under pressure, but Nurmagomedov was relentless with his attack as he looked for a neck crank. With a little over 90 seconds left, Poirier was back to his feet but still locked up by “The Eagle” who put the fight on the deck once more before the end of the round.
Early in round two, Poirier made his presence felt as he briefly jarred Nurmagomedov with a right hand that forced the Dagestan native into defensive mode until he got his bearings back and put Poirier on his back again. While on the mat, Poirier got cut around his left eye, but he got upright with under two minutes left and looked for an escape route. Nurmagomedov wasn’t giving him one, though, and it was another round for the Russian.
Poirier (25-6, 1 NC) attempted a guillotine choke as Nurmagomedov sought his first takedown attempt of round three, but when “The Eagle” escaped, it was his turn, and when he sunk in his own choke, that rear naked choke ended the fight, with Poirier forced to tap out at 2: 06 of the third frame.