Khabib acting like UFC’s star attraction as he skips media duties to cut weight while his team creates a ‘buffer zone’ around the MMA hero – The Sun

KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV snubbed UFC 242’s media day to focus on his weight cut now he is the MMA promotion’s No1 star.

With Conor McGregor on a worryingly wayward trajectory, Ronda Rousey wrestling in the WWE and Jon Jones lacking credibility after a string of failed drugs tests, Khabib is the sport’s star attraction.

But, ahead of his lightweight title defence against Dustin Poirier on Saturday night in Abu Dhabi, Khabib shunned the final press conference to promote the event.

But British MMA icon Dan Hardy believes the ice-cool wrestler is just running the show his own way after beating McGregor last year and snatching his role as the sport’s standout star.

Hardy said: “There’s a reason for everything and sometimes fighters just don’t want to deal with the extra media work, that is the truth.

“This is the Khabib show, he’s marching to the beat of his own drum.

“The team around him are creating a bit of a buffer zone around him to protect him from the energetic exchanges that he would usually need to give around fight week.

“Obviously his main focus will be weight cutting and he has struggled with weight sometimes and knows for sure Poirier will get on the scales at 155lbs, so he is not going to struggle.


“I think Khabib is dealing with one thing at a time. Taking things off his schedule is ideal for him. He answered all of the questions he could possibly answer.”

Khabib did take part in the media workouts on Wednesday, in the sweltering 38 degree heat, which should have helped his weight cut to 11st.

The Dagestan and Muslim hero shuns the limelight, unlike most of his peers, but his desire to be the most feared fighter on the planet has not diminished.

The 27-0 wrestling king said: “A lot of people ask me why I'm here but they don't understand what's inside me, this is about fire.

"All my life I have competed with someone and I want to keep doing that.

"I have a big, big fire inside and I want to be the best fighter in the world, not the best fighter from my country, but the best of seven billion people.

"Everywhere I go, a lot of people come and take pictures and talk, it's a bit of pressure.

“Most of the time I don't like it, I don't train to be really famous, I train for fights with the best fighters in the world."

*Watch Khabib v Poirier exclusively live on BT Sport Box Office, Saturday 7 September.

Source: Read Full Article