With an announcement seemingly fast approaching, Dustin Poirier is already excited for the challenge that could await at UFC 242.
Expected to fight UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in Abu Dhabi on September 7th, 'The Diamond' will look to become the undisputed 155 lbs titleholder. Poirier won the Interim Title in April, memorably outpointing Max Holloway and finally getting gold around his waist. The future was immediately clear to Poirier though, swiftly transferring his focus to the looming Nurmagomedov. “That’s what the interim belt is supposed to be right? . . . you have to fight the champ" Poirier told Brendan Schaub on a recent episode of Below the Belt’s Food Truck Diaries.
"What I have is a piece of the title, we have to unify." While this upcoming challenge is obviously a sizable one, Poirier's win over Holloway was also a significant feat. Though some point to Holloway's weight-class shift as a key factor, Poirier still halted a 13 fight win streak and doubts that reasoning to begin with. “People were saying the power difference, that’s what won the fight but I thought it was technique and timing and my rhythm . . . maybe I just have the right game-plan and style to beat him. I don’t think the size matters that much."
Either way, Poirier is very ready for the next challenge and if it's indeed Nurmagomedov, he's already considered his approach. “We’ll see man, there’s not like one that thing that’s glaring on me that we need to work on," he said. "It’s gonna be just, my overall game, just being a better fighter I think. We have to make holes by just performing out there. I don’t think people know how long I’ve been doing Jiu Jitsu. As long as I’ve been fighting, before I ever fought so I’ve been doing Jiu Jitsu 13 or 14 years. I’m a black belt.
"I’m gonna create space with submissions and put him in danger and make him have to respect things and then I’ll get up. It’s gonna be a scrap but I’m gonna make him make mistakes and we’ll see what happens. If he slows down, it’s gonna go downhill for him but I think my overall game, I can cause threats and cause problems for him early on as well. I don’t need him to gas out to win this fight."
Regardless of how he plans on getting it done, Poirier's confidence is hard to dismiss considering his recent form. In conclusion, Poirier's prediction is a simple one, “against all odds, I’ll get it done. That’s the story of my life . . . I’m used to that.”