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Here’s What Went Down in Abu Dhabi When UFC 242’s Champions Visited Their Fans

Khabib Nurmagomedov with his teammates during an open training session for fans and media at Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi. Photo: Getty

This year, Abu Dhabi will be hosting the Ultimate Fighting Championship in the newly constructed, purpose-built, 13,000-seater arena on Yas Island.

As the excitement builds up, the undefeated Russian and lightweight category champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov was making his final public appearance before the big match against Dustin Poirier on Saturday.

The Russian champion was set to hold open workouts at Yas Mall on Wednesday, however, as he was training later that evening, Nurmagomedov was unable to display his gym routine.

The popular fighter couldn’t leave his fans hanging, at least not right before his game. Instead, he decided to host a spur-of-the-moment Q&A session. Nurmagomedov apologized for the inconvenience and brought smiles back when he promised to gift the individual who asked the best question.

According to The National, when the fighter was asked about his upcoming match on Saturday, he said, “This is a hard question. Dustin Poirier is a very tough opponent; I don’t want to underestimate him. He has big experience, almost 20 fights in UFC.”

“But when I go to the cage my plan is to make him tired and make him tap. This is my wish,” he added.

Before Nurmagomedov, Poirer took the stage at Yas Mall and was welcomed in a quite unsettling manner; with boos.

But to redirect the crowd, Poirer said, “It’s an honor to be here, and I’m just appreciative and grateful to have this opportunity to be in this place and I’m trying to make history this Saturday night.”

The Louisiana fighter aims to beat the undefeatable during the exciting game, that will take place on Yas Island. “It’s all about Saturday; I’m in the moment for sure. But after I stop Khabib it’ll settle in more. I’ve tunnel vision right now,” he said to The National.

Khabib and Poirier were joined by Paul Felder, Edson Barboza, Islam Makhachev and Joanne Calderwood in a series of 20-minute workouts at the Yas Mall on Wednesday.

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