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Nurmagomedov beats Poirier, stays unbeaten at UFC 242

Khabib Nurmagomedov stopped Dustin Poirier by submission in the third round Saturday night at UFC 242, retaining his lightweight title and unbeaten record.

After dominating Poirier with wrestling and grappling throughout the bout at Yas Island, Nurmagomedov (28-0) landed a rear naked choke and forced Poirier to tap midway through the third.

The Dagestan-born Russian fighter returned almost flawlessly for his first fight since beating Conor McGregor in October 2018. Nurmagomedov has stopped three of his last five opponents by submission, and he is challenging Jon Jones and Amanda Nunes for unofficial pound-for-pound supremacy in mixed martial arts.

Russian UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov speaks after wining against UFC fighter Dustin Poirier, of Lafayette, La., during Lightweight title mixed martial arts bout at UFC 242, in Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Saturday , Sept.7 2019. (AP Photo Mahmoud Khaled)

Poirier (25-6) nearly finished Nurmagomedov with a guillotine choke in a fight otherwise dominated by his opponent.

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Russian UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov, top, fights with UFC fighter Dustin Poirier, of Lafayette, La., during Lightweight title mixed martial arts bout at UFC 242, in Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Saturday , Sept.7 2019. (AP Photo Mahmoud Khaled)