Ahead of Saturday’s UFC 264 pay-per-view, we take a closer look at both the competitors in the main event. In the article below, we will discuss one half of the trilogy fight in the form of Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier.
Dustin Poirier (-130)
Poirier (27-6, 1 NC) is the No. 1 ranked contender in the UFC lightweight division and the former interim UFC lightweight champion. The 32-year-old American has been a professional MMA fighter since 2009 and he has been a member of the UFC roster since 2011, going 19-5, 1 NC overall in 25 career fights inside the Octagon. Poirier has fought and defeated many of the best lightweights and featherweights in the sport, including Conor McGregor, Dan Hooker, Max Holloway, Eddie Alvarez, Justin Gaethje, Anthony Pettis, and Jim Miller, just to name a few. He has also lost in the UFC to McGregor, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Michael Johnson, Cub Swanson, and The Korean Zombie.
Unlike McGregor, who is primarily a striker, Poirier is a well-rounded mixed martial artist who is good everywhere the fight goes. On the feet, Poirier packs big power in his hands and he also has excellent boxing technique. “The Diamond” also utilizes kicks better than many of the fighters in his division. But what makes Poirier so dangerous is that he’s also slick on the ground with his grappling. Poirier is an underrated wrestler and he has nasty submissions if he can get his opponents to the mat. He also has excellent cardio and is able to go the full five rounds if need be.
As far as his flaws go, Poirier has been knocked out twice in the UFC by both McGregor and Johnson, so he doesn’t necessarily have the greatest chin in the world. He has also been submitted twice in the Octagon, as well. Having said that, when you consider the high level of opposition that he has been facing throughout his decade-plus in the UFC, having only four stoppage losses against him isn’t so bad. Still, it does show that Poirier is beatable. So while he is certainly one of the best lightweights in the sport, it doesn’t mean that he’s unstoppable by any means.
While Poirier hasn’t been able to make that giant leap in his career yet and become an undisputed champion, now that Nurmagomedov is retired from the sport, Poirier has the best chance he’s ever had to reach his lifelong dream of becoming a UFC champion. It all starts with a win over McGregor at UFC 264, as a victory will earn him a title shot against new UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira. But until then, all the focus is on beating McGregor again.
What to expect from Dustin Poirier at UFC 264
Although Poirier was knocked out by McGregor in their first meeting seven years ago, that fight took place at featherweight, and it’s pretty clear from the way Poirier’s career has gone that he’s a much better fighter at lightweight. We saw in the rematch earlier this year that Poirier has caught up to McGregor and has even arguably surpassed him now in terms of being a complete MMA fighter. Poirier of course will have to mind his Ps and Qs and make sure he doesn’t get hit from a big punch from McGregor in the trilogy, but barring that, he should have the upper hand in terms of having a complete mixed martial arts game. We saw in the rematch that Poirier can stand and trade with McGregor, and we know he has the better ground game. He has all the skills needed to go in there and hand McGregor another loss, and UFC 264’s main event is going to be the must-watch fight of the year.