Khabib vaults cage again to celebrate submitting Poirier to become undisputed champ at UFC 242
Khabib added Poirier's interim title to his UFC lightweight championship at The Arena on YAS Island by third round submission, and then darted for the top of the cage.
This time, he made his way over under much happier circumstances than after his October 2018 win over Conor McGregor at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The Dagestan native, instead of looking to fight a member of the opposing team, jumped out of the cage and rushed to hug UFC head honcho Dana White.
Nearly a year ago, Khabib was responsible for one of the biggest, and certainly most talked-about, brawls in a UFC event arena, when he sparked a mass fight by targeting McGregor entourage member Dillon Danis.
This time there was nothing but respect from Khabib, directed to both White and Poirier, whose shirt Khabib wore and pledged to auction to raise money for his fallen foe.
A beaten Poirier made a tearful speech after the fight in which he said sorry for "letting down" his team and family, although his apologies were redundant, as the American had given more of than a strong showing of himself.
The Russian came out with a huge opening round, taking Poirier to the ground numerous times and dominating throughout the opening five minutes, cruising through to claim the fight’s first stanza.
In the second, Poirier utilized his boxing ability to land a right hand bomb onto Khabib’s bearded chin which stumbled the champion, followed up by a series of hard blows, before ‘The Eagle’ regrouped to take Poirier once again to the mat.
As the fight entered the third round, with every time Khabib used his superior grappling skills, Poirier looked more and more like a rag doll being chewed and thrown around by a pet dog. The Louisiana fighter did have some success though, throwing everything at Khabib and managed to lock up a tight guillotine choke that looked as though it could end the action.
But Khabib stayed composed and when he popped his head out, the crowd reacted with raucous applause and moments later maneuvered himself into position to execute a rear-naked choke and force Poirier to tap at 2.06 minutes into the third to unify the titles.Also on rt.com UFC 242: Khabib Nurmagomedov submits Dustin Poirier to retain UFC lightweight title (RECAP)