Dustin Poirier’s coach is confident that “The Diamond” will finish Khabib Nurmagomedov when they meet next Saturday in Abu Dhabi at UFC 242.
Phil Daru, the strength and conditioning coach at American Top Team, recently appeared on an episode of the Pull No Punches podcast with Kajan Johnson and Shakiel Mahjouri. Daru believes Poirier is going to earn an upset stoppage win over Nurmagomedov, and he believes that Poirier’s conditioning will be the difference in the outcome (h/t Bloody Elbow).
“I’m going to go ahead and say we’re going to finish (Nurmagomedov) in the fourth round,” Daru said. “We’re going to make him tired. I know that’s funny to say, but we’re going to make him try to shoot and we’re going to keep getting up. We’re going to hit him with shots to the body.”
Nurmagomedov is known for his incredible cardio so for Poirier’s coach going on record and saying that the difference in the fight will be his client’s conditioning is a bold prediction, to say the least. Then again, you figure Poirier’s coaches at ATT would have all the confidence in the world for their prized lightweight to be in incredible fight shape once again after he outworked cardio freak Max Holloway in his last fight to win the interim lightweight belt.
Daru says that Poirier has been diligently training his strength and conditioning, not to mention his wrestling in preparation for the fight with Nurmagomedov, who is going to shoot for takedowns early and often. However, he knows Poirier’s strength is his boxing attack and they have of course been training that as well.
“Let’s face it, Dustin is one of the best — if not the best — boxer in MMA right now. With that being said, we want to make sure we’re working on that as well. We don’t want to just cater to Khabib’s strengths,” Daru said.
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