The lightweight contender says that it is his destiny to win the interim title because destiny doesn’t make mistakes.
“Every dog has his day, man, and April 13th is going to be no different,” Poirier said to MMA Fighting. “I’ve been the underdog my whole life. I’m not even supposed to be here. I’ve overcome a lot of things, and oddsmakers make mistakes. I stay focused. Destiny doesn’t make mistakes. And that’s just how it goes, man. Being in this position isn’t strange to me, and the guy is pound-for-pound top 10. He’s a current reigning featherweight undisputed world champion. He beat one of the best ‘45ers in the world twice, finished him. Look at the streak he’s on. Look at the performances he’s putting together over and over again. Maybe he should be the favorite, you know? If you put paper to paper next to each other, with his last 10 fights, my last 10 fights, I’m sure I’ve done some impressive things, but he’s defended the belt, beat former champions as well. So it’s just, like he says: It is what it is, my buddy.”
Poirier is going to be getting his first shot at UFC gold at the event, despite having been with the promotion for just over eight years.
One thing that Poirier believes he has is the skill set to defeat the current UFC Featherweight Champion.
“I have the skill set, the cardio, and the muscle endurance to compete with his volume, to compete with his athletic ability, his push,” Poirier said. “He’s going to get a lot of push back, and we’ll see if he can keep it up whenever there’s — you know, it’s not hard to do it when you’re winning the round. Let’s see if he can do it after he loses a couple. Let’s see him come back from adversity. Let’s see, when the rounds go back and forth, who’s going to come out with that pep in their step the next round — and I know that’s going to be me, because I live for those uncomfortable moments. There’s where fights are won or lost. A fight like (Justin) Gaethje or Eddie Alvarez, those are my last fights, those are fights that I was mentally prepared to come out bleeding, to come out limping, to come out f*cked up every round and have to push forward. There’s an end goal. There’s 25 minutes, the bell is going to ring. But I’m going to give all of myself, whatever that is that night, and leave it all in there. And I’m willing to do that again with Max. Is he willing to do that? I hope so. If he is, fight of the night, fight of the year, title fight, fans love it — I still think I come out on top. But I don’t know if he is, and I’m willing to find out, and I’m excited to find out.”
UFC 236 takes place on Saturday, April 13 from the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia with Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.