UFC 242 took place in Abu Dhabi in the early morning of Sunday and for those that got up early they were treated to some quality Mixed Martial Arts.
It was a very big event for the UFC as they forge forward and grow the sport in all corners of the globe. They held their first UFC event in China recently and it can not be understated how important these cards are to the franchise.
Of course the Main Event saw Khabib Nurmagomedov regain and unified the Lightweight belt in devastating fashion with a third round submission win over Dustin Poirier courtesy of a rear-naked choke.
As always there was a lot to take away from the UFC Main Card so let’s get into our Five Lessons Learned from UFC242
1. Abu Dhabi Is Hot
It seems obvious but it was scorching inside the arena and it literally showed on the faces of the fighters with the amount of sweat being perspired!
To make things worse, seven of the 13 fights that took place on the entire card went the distance.
The Heavyweights surely felt it the most!
2. There Is Hope For UFC Fight Makers Still
Before UFC 242 kicked off, the UFC finally announced that the Jorge Masvidal vs Nate Diaz fight is locked away for UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden
The fight will be for the Nate Diaz invented Baddest MF On The Planet belt.
After talks had stalled for a week or so it became evident that the other Welterweights (I’m looking at you, Usman and Colby) wanted none of that Diaz or Masvidal business. Or they were asking for too much money.
Masvidal seemingly ended the discussion with one tweet.
3. Khabib Nurmagomedov Is Unbeatable
This is the fight game, and in a two man slug fest with all martial arts at fighters disposal, no one is unbeatable.
In saying that, Khabib eliminates a lot of the risk associated in this sport by taking the fight to the canvas and dominating his opponent when he is there.
He is relentless in his pursuit of a take down and his ability to lock up both his opponents legs and make him feel his full weight allows him to patently wait for the opportunity for a submission. If he fails to get the submission, he clearly wins the fight on points as he controls the entire fight.
It is going to take someone with enormous courage to continually come forward at Khabib, is capable and dangerous on the ground (especially from the bottom) and someone with extreme skill and ability.
Did I just perfectly describe Tony Ferguson?
Yes. Yes I did.
Get it done Dana.
4. This Meant A Lot To Dustin Poirier
Our hearts collectively broke for Dustin Poirier post fight when he struggled to hold back tears in his interview.
He trained he ass off for a five round war, and at times he looked very dangerous on his feet.
He even had a very deep guillotine choke locked in from the bottom that even Khabib admitted almost had him in trouble.
He is an extremely talented fighter who has a very impressive resume in the UFC and this will not be the end for him. There are plenty of fun fights for him and he can climb back to the top of the division in no time.
5. Don’t Let The Fight Go To The Judges
An obvious lesson and one that is told to fighters over and over however leaving your career and future in the hands of three people’s varying opinions is the harsh reality of the sport.
This was not more prevalent than the decision win for Paul Felder. Granted it was a very close fight and this writer actually scored the fight to Felder, the score card is baffling nonetheless.
One judge gave all three rounds to Felder. One gave all three to Barboza. Whilst it is just an opinion. One or both are wrong!