Widely expected to challenge Charles ‘Do Bronx’ Oliveira for the undisputed lightweight championship before the culmination of this year, former interim gold holder, Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier aims to go one better this time around in his second opportunity at undisputed gold. And if he can stop the Brazilian, he maintains he’s likely done everything there is to be done in mixed martial arts at this level.
In the midst of a three-fight rise since his title unification loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov in September 2019, Poirier emerged victorious opposite Conor McGregor in the pair’s July trilogy rubber match at UFC 264 — claiming an opening round TKO victory due to a doctor’s stoppage after the Dubliner suffered a fractured tibia in his left leg.
The win followed a January rematch win over McGregor, where he became the first to finish the former two-weight champion with strikes in professional mixed martial arts.
Rebounding from his loss to Nurmagomedov as well as invasive hip surgery last June at UFC Vegas 4, the Lafayette favourite took a Fight of the Year unanimous decision win over Dan Hooker.
Retaining his #1 rank in the lightweight shark tank off the back of his victory over McGregor, Poirier is primed to challenge the recently minted Oliveira for all the marbles before the close of 2021.
Lifting the vacant lightweight crown back in May at UFC 262 — surging submission specialist, Oliveira rallied early in the second round to stop former three-time Bellator lightweight pacesetter, Michael Chandler.
Ahead of the yet-to-be penned title showcase, Poirier spoke with Sportsmail — where he broke down his future pairing with Oliveira, describing the promotion’s most prolific submission artist as “very dangerous“.
“(Charles) Oliveira is a very dangerous guy, I think he’s improving more and more in his striking, putting guys down, he’s long especially for that weight class and I think he’s probably the best Jiu-Jitsu practitioner in (sic) the UFC roster right now,” Poirier said. “He’s aggressive and very offensive with his Jiu-Jitsu.“
“He doesn’t just use it to protect himself or get out of bad positions, he attacks people with it and finishes fights with it so he’s a very dangerous opponent who has paid his dues and fought a long time in the UFC.“
If Poirier can overcome the ever-growing obstacle presented by Sao Paulo grappler, Oliveira, it’s a huge feather in the already laced cap of the American Top Team staple. And according to him, he’s likely achieved everything there is to achieve in the sport if he can manage to clinch undisputed spoils.
“For me, being undisputed world champion was the goal from the beginning,” Poirier explained. “If I can tick that box, I’ve done it all in the sport of mixed martial arts.“
Improving his professional record to 28-6 with his second career triumph over McGregor last month, Poirier now boasts a gleaming résumé that includes victories over a whopping five former or current champions: Conor McGregor (x2), Max Holloway (x2), Eddie Alvarez, Justin Gaethje, and Anthony Pettis.
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