The next UFC lightweight title bout is expected to be a big one as the new interim champion, ‘The Diamond,’ Dustin Poirier looks to try and dethrone the unbeaten king that is ‘The Eagle.’
After winning the interim crown by unanimous decision at UFC 236 in a rematch with current featherweight titleholder, Max Holloway, Poirier solidified himself as the new top challenger to take on the 27-0 Khabib Nurmagomedov.
As Nurmagomedov’s suspension from UFC 229 has carried on, it’s looked more and more likely that his return would come in September at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi. Now with that date and location all set and Nurmagomedov’s teammates getting reduced suspensions, it’s just a matter of time before the big undisputed title bout is made official.
Expecting the fight to be made like the rest of the MMA community, ‘The Diamond’ shared his thoughts on the match-up and what he needs to do to walk away as ‘and new.’
“There’s not like one thing that’s glaring at me that we need to work on it’s just my overall game and being a better fighter,” Dustin Poirier said on a recent episode of Below the Belt’s Food Truck Diaries with Brendan Schaub. “We have to make holes by just performing out there. I will and can [get back up after being taken down]. I create space with my Jiu-Jitsu. I don’t think people know how long I’ve been doing Jiu-Jitsu. As long as I’ve been fighting – before I ever fought. I’ve been doing Jiu-Jitsu 14 or 15 years, I’m a black belt. I’m gonna create space with submissions and put him in danger and make him have to respect me and then I’ll get up.
“It’s gonna be a scrap but I’m gonna make him make mistakes and we’ll see what happens. If he slows down, it’s gonna go downhill for him. I think with my overall game, I can cause threats and problems for him early on as well. I don’t need him to gas out to win this fight.
“Against all odds, I’ll get it done, man. It’s the story of my life.”
UFC 242 is set to go down on September 7 and currently only has two bouts lined up as welterweights Belal Muhammad and Takashi Sato will clash as will bantamweights Khalid Taha and Bruno Silva.
Nurmagomedov’s aforementioned teammates in Zubaira Tukhugov and Abubakar Nurmagomedov are also expected to fight on the card. For Abubakar, it would be his promotional debut.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/23/2019.