UFC took another trip to Abu Dhabi, this time, for UFC 242, which turned out to be a solid card overall. The main event, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier, was an instant classic, and the co-main event shined through as well.
Domination Once Again
Khabib is now 28-0 after submitting Poirier in the third round. It was a crazy fight, with Poirier rocking Khabib in the second round with absolute bombs, and even having a guillotine attempt that was unbelievably tight, but Nurmagomedov was somehow able to escape.
Khabib once again proved why is he arguably the best in the world overall and asserted his dominance amongst the 155-pound division. Despite suffering the loss, Poirier looked great in my opinion, and although it was clear that he was devastated after the loss, I hope to see him return sooner rather than later.
Felder Gets Revenge
In the co-main event, we saw a close war between Edson Barboza and Paul Felder. It was a close fight and, to be honest, I think it could have gone either way in terms of the decision. However, in the end, it was Felder who earned the split-decision victory. Despite what some are saying about Barboza being robbed, I tend to disagree.
Yes, Barboza had a great first round and continued to land, but Felder in the second and third rounds did a good job of keeping Barboza on his back foot, and he landed quite a bit as well. This is a giant win for Felder, who may have just set himself up for a major fight at 155.
Khabib Nurmagomedov: Although no one can argue the dominance of Khabib at this point, there is still one name lingering out there that many want to see him matchup against: “The Eagle” himself, and that name is Tony Ferguson.
Khabib was supposed to fight Ferguson on a number of occasions, but for various reasons, it has always seemed to fall through. However, at this point, there is only one logical fight for Khabib, and that is to book the Ferguson fight, as it is really a matchup for the ages.
Dustin Poirier: Poirier’s efforts at defeating Khabib were valiant, but in the end, he came up short, just like the 27 others before him. However, I still believe that he looked fantastic, and I hope we see him come back looking to go back on another run.
In terms of names for him to take on, I like him versus Felder, or maybe the winner of Cerrone vs. Gaethje, but either or seems like a good route to me.
Paul Felder: After earning the biggest win of his career thus far, Felder has set himself up for a massive fight. I think a matchup with Poirier makes all the sense in the world, and if that doesn’t pan out, then also the winner of Cerrone and Gaethje would also be a huge fight for “The Irish Dragon” as well.
Edson Barboza: This loss really dampens Barboza at this stage in his career. He has had a rough go in his last few fights, and who knows how this will affect him. I believe maybe a step back from the elite killers of the division would do him good, and looking at the rankings, I think a fight with Alexander Hernandez would be a great fight.
Yes, Hernandez is an up-and-coming killer, but at 155 in the UFC, the entire top 15 is filled with absolute studs, so it is hard to set up Barboza with an “easy” fight, unless the UFC wants to match him with someone outside the top 15, which I doubt they do.