The stage has been set for the next big clash in the UFC Lightweight division! UFC undefeated champion Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov has been let out of his cage after his suspension following the events of his UFC 229 main event against Conor McGregor. However, in this fight, he is on a mission to unify his belt and division once again following his opponent, Dustin Poirier winning the interim lightweight title against Max Holloway. What will be said? Who will come out on top verbally? Will there be a physical altercation? Stay tuned into Pureevilmma.com for all the live updates.
Press Conference begins at 3pm UK Time.
The stream is live.
Dustin has sat down on stage followed by Khabib. Here we go.
Dustin reflecting on beating Max “It was a big victory… a special moment in time for my team and my family”
Dustin on fighting in Abu Dhabi and not being the fan favorite and being booed “It’s the story of my life fighting through stuff like that so it’s no strange area to defy odds, that’s just what I do”
Khabib on changes in his life: “I become more famous like a lot of things change but in my mind, nothing change. I keep training and this is NOT my last fight and what happened in October is beginning of my legacy”
Khabib on being the headline in Abu Dhabi “It’s going to be a very big and very good show for everyone fighting and for me, my father can corner me for the first time in UFC and for Russian people don’t need a visa to come… I’m very excited about this”
Khabib said if he could not fight with his brothers and friends on the card then he would wait for his disqualification period to fight again.
Khabib on GSP Clause in the contract “Honestly I don’t know about GSP coming back but if I want to make my legacy big, I have to beat Dustin then Tony and then GSP and become P4P number 1”
Dustin on how to overcome Khabib’s wrestling “Just be myself and show the world what I am capable of. 27 people have tried and 27 people have failed. A lot of people have asked me about Khabib’s weaknesses and I don’t really need him to be weak for me to be strong. I’m going to make those holes with my experience and fight IQ. 2 champions are going in and 1 is coming out”
Khabib on most dangerous thing about Dustin “He has good experience in UFC. I respect him as a human and a fighter. Last fight he impressed me in boxing and this is why this fight is so big. He is the interim champion for a reason but for me, nothing change and when the cage close, I am going to keep going”
Dustin “[His belt] is a piece of the world title. That belt over there [Khabib’s title] is the world title and I want to do the most in my life and be ready for that moment… I am excited for the opportunity to show the world what I am capable of”
Dustin says he is going to go to Abu Dhabi about 10 days early to get used to heat and climate.
Khabib on testing himself on feet with Dustin: “I test myself against best strikers. Barboza, Johnson, Conor. Some of them finish Dustin already. Of course, I am going to fight with him stand up. This is MMA. My boxing not bad too. I respect his game but September 7th, I have to do my job like always”
Khabib on the difference between the build up on this fight to last fight with Conor: “If my opponent talk trash but if they don’t, nothing change. This is not my job… This fight difference because this fight is not like big fight with Conor but second title defense and he is my opponent and I have to keep building my legacy and at the moment, my opponent is Dustin and hardest fight in my life. I cannot wait”
Dustin on makes him the 1 in 27-1 “Experience, self-belief, my mindset and I am focused on making history and that’s what the next 11 weeks of my life will be to prepare for 25 minutes. The guys good, he’s the world champ but I am going to make things happen in there and bring him to places he has never been before”
Khabib on how important that UFC in Abu Dhabi is a success ” UFC very popular in Emirates. I was there all the time. I can’t even walk around the streets, I feel like I am in Dagestan. MMA popular in all Arab countries… They already make very good contracts with television. I think it’s going to be a good show”
Khabib may spend 1 month in Abu Dhabi before the event but has to speak to father. Not sure yet.
Khabib on moving up to fight Usman for the second title: “I want to stay 155. If they make 160 or 165 maybe but I am not big like in 170. I have a lot of work in 155, Dustin, Tony and right now, biggest division”
How much has Khabib missed the octagon ” I follow all show and watch all fights. When I didn’t fight for 2 years, I miss a lot but right now, not too much. I am still hungry. After every fight, I not feel nothing. I think it’s about enjoying. With victories and after every fight, I injure less”
Khabib on regrets on the events to do with Conor: “No nothing. If I chance one more time, I do this. Maybe 100 times. It does not matter”
Khabib on a rematch with Conor “Last 3 years, he have only one win in amateur boxing. How he deserves a rematch? He begged me not to kill him. Now he talks about a rematch? Tony Ferguson has win streak on the line and he not win nothing in 3 years. I have a lot of work without him”
Dustin on possibly going down to 145 if he beats Khabib “I’ll never fight again at 145. Maybe a move up but my hands are full at the moment”
Khabib on Tony call out “He deserves title shot. When UFC asks him to fight Max Holloway, he says no. He takes the regular fight with Cowboy. I know to understand this. Right now, I don’t want to think about other opponents and focus on Dustin”
Khabib on next 12 months “I want to fight end of year”
Khabib on fighting in Russia “UFC don’t make PPV show and right now, I am champion and I cannot fight on fight night. You have to ask Dana but Moscow time and Abu Dhabi time same. Maybe next fight”
Dustin “If I got out there and stop Khabib, I’ll be one of the best at 155”
End of Press Conference.