Khabib Nurmagomedov has not fought in nearly a full calendar year; and Dustin Poirier doesn’t think it matters.
Is ring rust real or not? This has become a topic of debate around MMA community circles in recent years, and Saturday’s lightweight title challenger Dustin Poirier has added his two cents to the conversation. His opponent, Khabib Nurmagomedov, is coming off of a long layoff when he makes his second title defense against Poirier, but Poirier expects to see the same Khabib as always: one who remains sharp and prepared:
Poirier then pulled a very recent and prominent example from the most recent UFC pay per view, UFC 241, which featured another big name return to competition without missing a beat, further cementing Poirier’s belief that ring rust varies from person to person:
“Recently, we’ve seen Nate Diaz come back and beat Anthony Pettis. Anthony’s been pretty active. Nate hasn’t fought in three years. And ring rust is a thing people touch around, a word people touch around, but I think it’s more individualized. It depends how hard you’re working in the gym, and how focused you are, and how ready to compete you are.
“And I believe Khabib’s one of the guys who works year ‘round, he’s always working on his craft, and I think he’s going to be the best he’s ever been September 7th.”
Do you agree with Dustin Poirier? Will Khabib be unfazed by the long layoff and arrive as the best version of himself he has ever been at UFC 242?