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The UFC makes its third visit to Abu Dhabi on Saturday, as UFC 242 takes place in the United Arab Emirates.

And while one can certainly debate the morality of doing business in a place with an atrocious track record on women’s and LGBT rights and decide from there whether this is something you wish to support with your money, the fact is, the show is going on. And it’s headlined by unquestionably one of the most anticipated fights of the year.

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is a gigantic star in the Middle East, something which has become quite apparent this fight week, and he’ll be the crowd favorite when he meets interim champ Dustin Poirier in what promises to be a thrilling title unifier.

But that’s not all that’s of interest at UFC 242. The co-headliner features Edson Barboza and Paul Felder in a rematch of what was a phenomenal 2015 bout, and there’s plenty more.

UFC 242 takes place Saturday at The Arena at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and UFC Fight Pass/ESPN+.

With that, here are seven burning questions ahead of UFC 242.


Should a win put Khabib Nurmagomedov on the GOAT short list?

No, we’re not just talking lightweight GOAT, although there’s that, too.

Who’s on the overall GOAT list these days? Demetrious Johnson was regularly name-checked on that list, for good reason: He had a great run as an undersized bantamweight and an all-time great title reign at flyweight once the UFC got around to having a division in his natural weight class. Georges St-Pierre is high on that list, too. GSP has only lost twice and not since 2007, held the UFC welterweight title for five-and-a-half years during his second reign, then came out of retirement and won the middleweight belt. Jon Jones, of course, has never legitimately lost a fight, and while you can say plenty about his outside-the-ring escapades, there’s no debating what he’s done in the cage.

Jones debuted in April 2008 and has fought 27 times (including a no-contest). Nurmagomedov (27-0 MMA, 13-0 UFC) debuted in Sept. 2008 and will fight for the 28th time. Jones went through what was then a murderer’s row at 205 pounds. Nurmagomedov is 13-0 in the UFC’s deepest division, lightweight. Both fighters are so dominant that it’s news when their fights are competitive.

We’re not saying Nurmagomedov is the GOAT, but it’s becoming time he gets name-checked on the short list, and a victory over a red-hot Poirier (25-5 MMA, 17-4 UFC) would only bolster his case.

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