UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is expecting to seal his legacy against interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier on September at The Arena in Abu Dhabi.
The two men will contest a title unification bout at UFC 242, Abu Dhabi's third UFC event and the first since the UFC and the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) agreed a five-year partnership earlier this year.
Khabib revealed he is relishing a return to The Octagon for the first time since defeating Conor McGregor at UFC 229 in October.
"What happened last year was the beginning of my legacy and I am very excited about my comeback. I'm hungry and it's going to be a very big show for everyone fighting in Abu Dhabi," said Khabib, who holds the longest undefeated streak in MMA, with 27 wins and no losses.
However, Poirier is equally determined to unify the lightweight belts after three of his last four victories came against current or former UFC champions.
The American said: "I'm focused on making history and taking (Khabib) to places he has never been. I feed off good energy and I'm ready to rock. I'll be myself, go out there and show the world what I'm capable of – it's going to be a huge fight."
"The Khabib-Poirier fight is set to be a thrilling match, and you can already sense the excitement among the many UFC fans here in Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the Arabian Gulf region," said Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, acting executive director of tourism and marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi.
With the Khabib-Poirier lightweight championship face-off headlining UFC 242, a further nine fights have now been confirmed.
History will be made at UFC 242 as Abu Dhabi hosts its first-ever female bouts. Top-ranked Scottish flyweight Joanne Calderwood, the division's fifth-ranked fighter, will face seventh-ranked American Andrea Lee, who is aiming to seal four consecutive UFC wins on her Abu Dhabi debut.
Georgia's highly-rated Liana Jojua also squares up against Canada's Sarah Moras.
The organisation's packed lightweight division will be well represented in Abu Dhabi, led by a bumper co-main event between two top 10-ranked lightweights, Edson Barboza, of Brazil, and Ireland's Paul Felder.
Elsewhere at lightweight, Khabib's team-mate Islam Makhachev is out for a sixth consecutive UFCâ win against Brazil's Davi Ramos while Russian-Austrian Mairbek Taisumov attempts to improve his 27-5 professional MMA record against Brazil's Diego Ferreira.
Germany's Ottman Azaitar will make his UFC debut against Finland's Teemu Packalen while in the only heavyweight bout confirmed so far, American TKO expert Curtis Blaydes will face Russia's Shamil Abdurakhimov while German bantamweight Khalid Taha will face another UFC debutant, Brazil's Bruno Silva.
In the welterweight division, France's Nordine Taleb will battle Muslim 'King of Kung Fu' Salikho.For all the latest sports news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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