UFC 242 will feature a headliner of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier for the UFC lightweight championship.
The event is set to take place at The Arena, in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Saturday, Sept. 7th. It will start on Fight Pass at 10:00am ET, then moves over to FX at 12:00pm ET, and the ESPN+ PPV starting at 2:00pm ET.
While we wait for the main card, here are a few fights for fans to chew on—your guide to the prelims:
Belal Muhammad vs. Takashi Sato (Welterweight)
Muhammad is a serious threat in the welterweight division. He has only lost to high quality opponents like Alan Jouban, Vicente Luque, and Geoff Neal. Muhammad has KO power in his hands, and his opponents are usually aware of that as they try to stay away.
He has also faced off against some fighters who have incredible power, and has out-pointed fighters with his boxing while avoiding getting hurt. Muhammad has gotten hurt though, and has shown to have incredible heart and an iron chin with Luque being the only fighter to finish him.
Sato made his UFC debut back in April this year, and he made sure to burst onto the scene with a finish of Ben Saunders in the early goings of round 2. Sato has a record standing at 15-2 as a professional and Muhammad’s professional record sits at 15-3.
This fight is a treat for the early prelims.
Nordine Taleb vs. Muslim Salikhov (Welterweight)
Taleb bounced back in his last fight earning a win after suffering a 2-fight skid. The 37-year-old still maintains one of the best physiques in all of MMA. He’s willing to stand and trade power punches with his opponents, which should set up an exciting match up with Salikhov.
Salikhov comes in with 10 professional wins coming by way of KO. Taleb has 7 wins by KO on his resume as well. This has the potential to be a war. The goal of a KO is the same for these fighters, but the method of achieving the KO is very different. Taleb wants to be in your face and make the fight ugly. He loves to drag his opponent into deep waters they are not comfortable in. Salikhov has multiple KOs coming from spinning kicks, showing a much more flashy style of fighting.
Will the brawler outlast the flash, or will the flash be too bright?
Liana Jojua vs. Sarah Moras (Bantamweight)
Moras is currently in a bit of a slump losing her last 3 fights in the UFC and going 1-4 while being a part of the promotion. She has faced off against some very tough talent though. The TUF 18 alum has fought the likes of Juliana Pena, Jessica Andrade, and Macy Chaisson.
Jojua is making her UFC debut. Jojua has finished many of her wins, and has a long list of submissions to her name. Make sure to keep your arms close because Jojua will snatch an arm and try to rip it off.
Sarah will probably feel some sense of desperation, wanting to turn things around and get a win, and show that the UFC is where you belong. Liana should try to come out and make a big statement in her debut.
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Connor “Rags” Rogowsky is a co-owner of The Scrap and its current President. Rogowsky played football and track collegiately, and holds a Masters of Science in Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University. Make sure to follow Rags on Twitter (@rogowskyc).