At UFC 242, which goes down on September 7 in Abu Dhabi, Dustin Poirier will attempt to do what 27 other fighters have failed to do, and defeat UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
In preparation for this mammoth challenge against the undefeated Russian, Poirier is grinding away in the gym, preparing specifically for the frenetic pace Nurmagomedov is known to unleash in his fights.
“Honestly, this camp has been a tough camp,” Poirier wrote in a blog post for MMA Junkie. “It’s grinding. Wrestling every day with guys hanging on me, trying to keep me down and put me against the fence. Every day, every session is like a strength and conditioning session. I’m carrying my weight, carrying the weight of these guys who are trying to hold me down. It’s just a different type of camp. It’s very strenuous. Every training camp is very hard, but this one, just getting ready to wrestle, wrestle, wrestle and get up and build up off the fence and still try to have a high output, is draining over months at a time. This camp is going to be 10 weeks when it’s all said and done.”
While this training camp has been taxing, Dustin Poirier is confident his efforts will culminate in a victory in Abu Dhabi — and a UFC lightweight title win.
“I don’t beat myself up too much during the ups and downs of training camp,” he wrote. “These guys rotating in on me, it might be their first round, but it’s my fourth. I’m doing six rounds of grappling or something; they have a guy on the sidelines waiting to jump in at Round 4. He’s coming in dry and feeling good and I’m just getting done scrapping for 15 minutes, and I have another 15 to go, so I understand that, too. I’ve been doing this long enough that I understand those things. Khabib can have the other 364 days a year. I just need 25 minutes on Sept. 7. He can have everything else. I just need to be better for 25 minutes, and I’m 100 percent sure I can do that.”
Do you think Dustin Poirier will defeat Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/7/2019.