Khabib Nurmagomedov (R) lands a right uppercut on Al Iaquinta (L) during their UFC lightweight championship bout at UFC 223

Much of the narrative heading into the lightweight title unification clash between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier is that the fight needs to be kept standing if the latter is to win. However, the lightweight champion has some surprises on the feet according to his father and coach Abdulmanap.

Nurmagomedov and Poirier collide at UFC 242 on September 7 in Abu Dhabi. The event will air live on ESPN+ in the United States. “The Eagle” has made a name for himself by mauling his opponents on the ground. While he is yet to truly be hurt on the feet, many believe the best way to defeat Nurmagomedov is to catch with him a knockout shot.

However, Abdulmanap has warned Poirier and the other lightweight contenders that his son has been mastering his striking and could even use his knees or legs at UFC 242.

“Khabib is growing stronger mastering his striking technique,” Abdulmanap said (via TASS). “We have already prepared some surprises for Dustin Poirier. We will witness them in the middle of the second or the beginning of the third rounds. The surprises will be about the new striking technique.

“Why Khabib should not involve his legs and knees? He is capable of a good knee strike in a jump – a boxer is always measuring a distance, but the distance allows to prepare a good strike on a body in a jump.”

Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia (L) punches Conor McGregor of Ireland in their UFC lightweight championship bout during the UFC 229
Khabib Nurmagomedov punches Conor McGregor in their UFC lightweight championship bout during UFC 229 (Harry How/Getty Images)

Abdulmanap believes Poirier himself, knows the best way to beat Nurmagomedov is on the feet. However, he again warned him that he could be in store for some special treats.

“Dustin [Poirier] is being told that he must remain standing on his feet in the fight against Khabib, and he [Poirier] also knows it well,” he added. “However, we have our special treats for each of our bouts, but the most important is the total control and our aim to knock out the opponent.”

Nurmagomedov is actually no stranger to a flying knee as he has attempted it many times in the past to back his opponent up against the cage. We’ll just have to wait and see what this other new striking technique entails.

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