By Sean McClure:
Dustin Poirier (4-0 UFC) has lost one fight in his 13 fight career, and it came via unanimous decision to Danny Castillo in the WEC in 2010. Since then he has rattled off 5 wins and 4 of them have come in the UFC. When he faces Chan Sung Jung in the main event of UFC on Fuel TV: Korean Zombie vs. Poirier on May 15th – it may be the biggest fight of his life. The UFC is often picky in who main events their cards and Poirier knows it.
“For the UFC to have that confidence in me, It’s awesome”, Said Dustin. “I mean it feels really good to look at the poster and stuff. To know I am going to go out there and be the main event means it’s a huge opportunity for people to see me fight”.
His opponent Chan Sung Jung may be remembered for his incredible Twister submission over Leonard Garcia, but Dustin sees more than just a highlight reel submission in Jung. After The Korean Zombie knocked out Mark Hominick in 6 seconds, the world saw what Poirier already knew. Chan Sung Jung is a very dangerous fighter. While there is respect for his opponent, Dustin doesn’t see what happened to Mark Hominick at UFC 140 happening to him.
“He obviously has the power in his hands to do it, but the chances of him doing that to me are very, very small”, said Poirier. “I think Hominick just went out there and got caught. He threw a wild punch and Korean Zombie countered. It was instinct and he just threw that cross. It was a great reaction by the Zombie, but more that Hominick made that mistake. That kind of stuff happens every now and then, but it will not happen when we fight”.
Part of what Dustin thinks makes him successful is his ability to adapt to the styles of his opponents.
“I’m a different fighter every night “, commented Dustin. “I’m not a boxer, kickboxer, or a jiujitsu specialist. I’m a mixed martial artist and I’m dangerous anywhere the fight goes. If it doesn’t go my way on the feet It’s hitting the ground. I’ll outwrestle you or submit you period. I train every aspect of the game every week, every day, and all day. It’s what I do man this is my life”.
Some fighters find themselves falling in to a comfortable rhythm and stuck in dull routines. Dustin found out early in his career that it was important to keep evolving.
“Every fight I learn alot. I learn alot about myself. It changes how I look at fights and I always turn new corners and I’m facing new things. I’m not going to be that guy who just won in February this time around. I’m a different type of fighter every time”.
It is no secret that this fight is important and could determine the next challenger for Jose Aldo’s UFC Featherweight Championship. Despite this, Dustin stays in the moment and remains grounded.
“Sometimes when I sit back and think about the whole picture, the overall goal of being champion comes in to a play”, said Poirier. “Other than that it’s just another fight. I’m not fighting all that stuff I’m fighting one person and that’s the Korean Zombie. I think about it every now and then, but it doesn’t affect how I perform. I’m the same way about big crowds and who’s going to be there to see me fight. I have no control over that. I just have control of what’s going to happen in the fight”.
Training camps for Dustin rarely change significantly and this time is no different.
“I am training with pretty much the same guys. Kurt Pellegrino came in for like a week. We worked a bunch of jiujitsu and a bunch of wrestling. Other than that it’s my same good group of guys”.
The Korean Zombie is known for taking a lot of damage and fighting through it and it’s kind of hard to prepare for a fighter with that type of fighting style. Poirier feels it’s more important to know a fighter’s core strengths than his durability.
“Zombie’s just a well rounded fighter”, said Dustin. “At times he has flashes of great kickboxing when he’s not just brawling. I can tell he has a good kickboxing background. He does things the way they are supposed to be done, and then, when he gets hit, it’s back to brawling. I think he’s a very skilled fighter who pretty much fights off emotion. Sometimes I do that so man we’re going to beat the crap out of each other. His ground game I haven’t seen a lot of. I have seen him fight off his back a little in Sengoku. I haven’t seen him scramble out and wrestle too much. The guy is with Korean Top Team and they’ve been working on everything lately. I’m expecting a well rounded fight. I do well with guys like that. That come out and try to fight my fight. They try to kickbox and try to grapple and it’s an up and down fight. I do well against those guys”.
Some fighters believe they could fight all year round, but Dustin doesn’t think that’s something that is always a good thing. Poirier thinks there is a realistic blueprint for fighting in the UFC.
“No more than four times a year. Four times at the max is what I want to fight”, Dustin stated. “At this level so many things go in to fighting. I’ve been in a training camp for 11 weeks for this fight and every ounce of me goes in this training camp. My soul, my spirit, and my sweat. I keep my my mind and my body focused on the fight. It’s like I’m cut off from the world for these three months to prepare for this guy. Three fights a year is nine months of camps. I’d like to be able to take some time off at some point. We’ll see what happens in this fight and in the next few days what happens in the featherweight division. I want to win and take a couple of months just training and having fun. I want to hang out with my wife and eat some good food. After my last fight we found out we’d be fighting the Zombie and it was back to tunnel vision. I’d like to do some gi jiujitsu because I didn’t get to do it after the last fight. Time away from fighting has to be there”.
Dustin Poirier faces Chan Sung Jung in the main event of UFC on Fuel TV: Korean Zombie vs. Poirier on May 15, 2012.Tags: featured, MMA NEWS, Strikeforce, strikeforce news, ufc news, UFC on FOX, UFC on FOX 2, ufc on fox 3, UFC on Fuel, UFC on FX