Bout No.2: Omari Akhmedov vs Zak Cummings
Bout No.2: Omari Akhmedov vs Zak Cummings Image Credit: Screengrab

It’s time! The most highly-anticipated UAE sporting event of the year is just moments away with UFC 242, a blockbuster night featuring 13 fights between some of the world’s best mixed martial arts fighters, all set to roll.

The headline event marks the return of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov to the world-famous Octagon after a gap of 11 months, when he takes on interim champion Dustin Poirier.

The UFC is returning to Abu Dhabi, United for the first time since 2014 and will take place at “The Arena,” a venue constructed just for the event on Yas Island.

Khabib vs Poirier is the most closely-matched lightweight title bout in years. The 27-0 bear-wrestling, Dagestani warrior taking on the “Diamond” of Louisiana, who is one of the most improved fighters on the talent-rich UFC roster.

Nurmagomedov’s rise to the title has been nothing short of phonemical Right from his UFC debut in 2012 against Kamal Shalorus to his n10th UFC fight against Ireland’s Conor ‘The Notorious’ McGregor, he has had things his way inside the Octagon.

However, in Poirier, who is riding a six-fight winning streak, he faces by far his toughest opponent. The Louisiana native has risen up the ranks with dominating victories over some of the best fighters in the 155 pound division, including Anthony Pettis, Justin Gaethje and Eddie Alvarez.

Tonight’s card is not just about Khabib vs Poirier, there are several contests, including women’s fights, that promise to be action-packed.

UFC card
Who is fighting whom? Image Credit: GN

And a fight that could rival the headline act is a matchup of UFC veterans, Edson Barboza and Paul Felder who reprise their first meeting from 2015.

Another must-see fight is between Islam Makhachev and Davi Ramos who are two stylistic fighters.

Don’t go anywhere the action is about to explode and you can follow it all here on Gulf News.

And it begins...

Don Madge of South Africa and Fares Ziam of France get ready for the first bout at UFC 242.

Bout No.2: Omari Akhmedov vs Zak Cummings

Nordine Taleb and Muslim Salikhov ready to fight.

The final bout is over. Khabib Nurmagomedov is still the champion.