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khabib vs poirier Live Dan Hardy expects Dustin Poirier to test Khabib Nurmagomedov at khabib vs poirier tonight – but to ultimately fall short.Poirier will bid to become the lightweight champion in Abu Dhabi and in the process inflict a first-ever defeat on the Russian.
Nurmagomedov is defending his belt for the second time having choked out Conor McGregor last October.And Hardy believes Poirier can hear the final bell before dropping a points decision.
The former UFC star said: “If I take out all of the other factors involved and I look at the two individuals and their technical and athletic abilities, the safe bet is Khabib by decision, nine times out of 10.
“As good as Poirier is, I don’t think he’s the toughest opponent in this weight class.
Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier face off (Image: Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Read MoreKhabib Nurmagomedov won’t make same mistake as Conor McGregor despite £5m pay-day”Poirier has the skills, the power and the toughness to last into the later rounds and you need a mental toughness with Khabib as well; you need to be taken down for two rounds, be completely drowned in pressure and then fight the third round as if it’s the first.
“I think Poirier has that and the fact he has losses on his record, he knows he can pull it back together and regroup, whether that is between fights or between rounds.
“The winner of tonight’s fight is expected to take on Tony Ferguson next – and Hardy believes he could be the man to relieve Nurmagomedov of his belt and perfect record.
Dan Hardy expects Nurmagomedov to win (Image: Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Bruce Buffer recalls cageside memories of Conor McGregor and Khabib’s post-fight brawl
He added: “I think Tony Ferguson is the antithesis of Khabib; he could cause him problems with his unpredictable striking, with his elbow game and his ground game; particularly off his back.
“And someone who is like Khabib but who is better in some areas is Justin Gaethje who has heavy hands and big knockout power.