The UFC is going back to Abu Dhabi for UFC 242 and it’s going to be an action-packed night of fights. Like many cards, the main and co-main events are the most interesting fights, but the rest of the card has some good fights in store too. Here’s a quick preview of what could be the best fights on the card.
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier
Like most other cards, the main event is the best fight of the night. Nurmagomedov is undefeated and he’s beaten men like Conor McGregor. Poirier, a former featherweight, moved up to the lightweight division and started making a name for himself, knocking out tough competition like Justin Gaethje and the former champion, Eddie Alvarez.
Although Poirier has lost to men like McGregor, it doesn’t mean that Nurmagomedov will beat Poirier. However, given Nurmagomedov’s 27 fight win streak, him wrestling and beating Poirier up is a pretty safe bet and that’s what the oddsmakers in Vegas say too.
Poirier isn’t a slouch though, but he’s currently a big underdog according to those oddsmakers. He will probably lose, but he might’ve figured out the secret to beat Nurmagomedov, you never know. If you’re feeling lucky, Poirier isn’t the worst underdog you could bet on.
Edson Barboza vs. Paul Felder
These two men have fought before and it ended in a controversial stoppage. The doctor said that Felder couldn’t continue because of how much he was bleeding, but Felder disagreed. They will rematch as the co-main event and it’s probably going to be a great fight.
Barboza is known for his impressive striking ability, including knockout wins with flying knees, spinning kicks, and even leg kicks. Felder is a decent fighter, but he’s mostly known for his use of elbows. Despite losing 3 of his last 4 fights, Barboza did win the first fight, so the oddsmakers have him as a slight favorite.
Betting on Barboza could be smart, as he won the first fight. But given Barboza’s recent losses, it might be better value to bet on Felder. No matter who you’re betting on though, this fight will be a great fight to watch.
Curtis Blaydes vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov
This fight is a toss-up. It could be extremely exciting or it could be extremely boring. Both men are grapplers, and they both just love wrestling. When that happens, either neither fighter uses their wrestling ability and they just stay standing and punch each other, or they both try to wrestle each other to no avail.
Blaydes is a very strong wrestler, so he could take it to the ground and finish Abdurakhimov there. But on the feet, neither men are really impressive, so it could become a brawl. Either way, the oddsmakers rightfully are betting on Blaydes to win this one, as he’s beaten some impressive heavyweights before, like Mark Hunt and Alistair Overeem.
Blaydes was one fight away from a title shot, but he blew it and got knocked out in under a minute by Francis Ngannou. He won his next fight after that, so UFC 242 will be another step towards redemption.
Nordine Taleb vs. Muslim Salikhov
This is one of those fights where you can tell the UFC wants one guy to win. The oddsmakers disagree though, as the odds are even for both men. However, Salikhov, or as he calls himself, The King of Kung Fu, is a very fun fighter to watch.
Salikhov loves to strike and he loves to knock people out with some weird attacks. The UFC obviously wants him to knock someone out, and Taleb drew that straw. Salikhov isn’t unbeatable, as he has a 14-2 record. However, recently Salikhov tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, but he was eventually cleared by the testing agency of any wrongdoing.
Thus, UFC 242 marks his comeback to the organization as well as his chance to show the world that he really is The King of Kung Fu.