MOSCOW, April 23. /TASS/. UFC Interim Champion Dustin Poirier of the United States says he can beat Russia’s UFC Reigning Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov as "nobody is perfect," according to his interview with ESPN.
Last week, a spokesman for the Russian fighter’s team told TASS that Nurmagomedov ruled out all possible contenders for his next fight on September 7 except for Dustin Poirier.
Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier defeated on April 14 another American fighter, Max ‘Blessed’ Holloway (20 wins, 4 defeats), becoming an interim UFC champion, which means that he is now officially a mandatory challenger for the fight against Russia’s Nurmagomedov.
Asked in an interview with ESPN whether Poirier saw any holes in Nurmagomedov’s game, the US fighter said "I do not see obvious huge glaring holes, but anybody can be beat."
"I can beat anybody," he said. "I just have to show up prepared and ready to go and I will make holes that are not there."
"I can make holes happen. Nobody is perfect," the US fighter added.
Poirier, 30, has fought to win 25 bouts (12 by KO/TKO, 7 by submission and 6 by decisions). He also lost five of his previous fights (2 by KO/TKO, 1 by submission and 2 by decisions).
Nurmagomedov currently holds an unblemished record of 27 wins in all of his mixed martial arts fights (8 by KOs, 9 by submission and 10 by decision). The next fight of the 30-year-old Russian fighter, nicknamed ‘The Eagle’ is scheduled for September 7.
Nurmagomedov, hailing from Russia’s North Caucasus Region of Dagestan, was the first Russian to win the UFC champion title during the fight against his US opponent Al Iaquinta in the spring of 2018.
On April 8, 2018, Nurmagomedov defeated Al Iaquinta in a five-round fight for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight belt in New York. The Russian fighter went on to defeat his champion’s belt in a fight against Ireland’s Connor McGregor during the UFC 229 tournament in Las Vegas on the night of October 6, 2018, maintaining the title with a choke in the 4th round of the fight.
However, after the fight in Las Vegas last October, a mass brawl broke out between the teams of both fighters, including Nurmagomedov, who jumped out of the cage and attempted to beat up one of the Irish opponent’s team members for insulting him.
Both athletes were slapped later with various sets of sanctions over this incident. A court in the US state of Nevada ordered a nine-month suspension and a fine of $500,000 for Nurmagomedov.