UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov acknowledges he will be somewhat distracted during UFC 242 because of his teammates and friends that are also competing on the card.
Nurmagomedov faces Dustin Poirier in a lightweight title unification clash in the main event of UFC 242 which takes place in Abu Dhabi on September 7. The PPV main card will stream exclusively via ESPN+ in the United States.
A number of other Russian, and Dagestani, fighters are competing on the card, as well as Nurmagomedov’s teammate and friend Islam Makhachev, who faces Davi Ramos.
This will notably be the first time Nurmagomedov is on the same card as many of his peers and he hopes it will result in positive energy, though he admits it will be a distraction leading up to the Poirier fight.
“Yes, there will be some distraction,” Nurmagomedov told RT. “When your friends and close ones are fighting, it does distract you but I hope they’ll give me some positive energy before my fight because when your close friends are losing, of course it upsets you.
“The main thing for them is to motivate me for my victory. We’re hoping only for victory in our team, or any other fighters who enter the Octagon. No one wants to lose so I hope we’re all going to win.”