Khabib: I’ve Tested Myself Against The Best Strikers In The World, Half Of Them Finished Poirier

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Earlier today (Wed. June 12, 2019) UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim champion Dustin Poirier took part in a press conference from London.

The presser was to help hype their upcoming unification bout at UFC 242 on pay-per-view (PPV). The show goes down from du Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on September 7. During the presser, Khabib was asked about his new contract with the UFC, and the Georges St-Pierre fight clause in the deal.

Khabib admitted he’s not sure if St-Pierre will ever return to the Octagon, but if he does, he knows he has to beat him, amongst others, to solidify himself as the best pound-for-pound fighter of all time:

“Honestly, I don’t know if he’s going to come back or not,” Khabib said. “But if I want to make my legacy big, if I want to improve my legacy I have to beat Dustin, Tony Ferguson, and then GSP. Then I can become pound-for-pound number one fighter. This is my opinion.”

The lightweight champ was then asked about testing himself against a striker with the pedigree of Poirier. However, “The Eagle” pointed out he has already tested himself against some of the best strikers in the world; such as Edson Barboza, Conor McGregor, and Michael Johnson – half of which have already knocked Poirier out:

“I test myself with one of the best striker in the world, you know,” Khabib said. “Like, Edson Barboza, Michael Johnson, Conor – they all very good strikers. I think half of them already finish Dustin. They very good fighters I think. What do you think? I already test myself. I fight with lot of good strikers and Dustin is one of them. Of course I’m going to fight with him in stand-up too.

“This is not wrestling match or grappling match-up. This is MMA. But my boxing is not bad too. I have lot of fight in my career; like in amateur, professional, all my life I’m fighting. But I don’t remember someone catch me. I respect his game, I respect his box, but September 7 I have to do my job, like always.”

Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, Khabib was asked about a potential jump up to 170 pounds. With the trend of champions going for two titles at the moment, the Russian was asked if he has any aspirations to do the same. However, Khabib said he’s content to stick around at 155 pounds, but would be open to the idea if the UFC opened weight classes at 160 or 165 pounds:

“Honestly, I want to stay at 155,” Khabib admitted. “If they make 165, maybe, or 160, but in 170 I am not big like in 155. I know Kamaru Usman, I don’t know why you ask this question, maybe he call you. But I want to stay 155, I have a lot of work in 155. Dustin, Tony, and we have, like, right now it’s like biggest division, this is lightweight division. And I have a lot of work at lightweight.”