Dustin Poirier responds to fans downplaying Dan Hooker

Dustin Poirier
Image via @ufc on Instagram

UFC lightweight contender Dustin Poirier is less than a week out from a high profile scrap with Dan Hooker, and many fans are very confident he’ll win.

Poirier himself, however, sees Hooker as a dangerous test, and doesn’t like the fact that some fans are downplaying the challenge at hand.

“I don’t like that, honestly,” Poirier told MMA Junkie as his fight with Hooker draws closer. “This guy is dangerous. This guy is a top opponent a top-five ranked fighter in the UFC for a reason. I don’t look past anybody. This guy is the only thing I’m focused on right now. 25 minutes with Hooker and we’ll see what happens. I don’t like the fact that fans and stuff are just passing him over because this is a dangerous guy I’ve been preparing very seriously for.”

While Poirier is taking Hooker very seriously, Hooker has questioned his rival’s chin.

“That’s the thing — he’s definitely going to have to adjust his game a little bit,” Hooker told MMA Fighting recently, breaking down his matchup with Poirier. “I feel like pressuring me, taking a shot, giving it, taking a shot, giving a shot is just not the way to best approach it. I don’t feel like Dustin can take a shot as well as Paul Felder can. From watching the tape of both of those fighters, I don’t think Poirier has the chin Felder does.

“I feel I can put Dustin away,” Hooker added. “If I keep touching him, there’s no way that Dustin’s going to be able to eat those shots and be able to recover from the damage I’m generally able to inflict on opponents.”

Poirier says he isn’t letting comments like this bother him.

“I’m immune to (trash talk) these days,” Poirier said. “I see some stuff on Twitter whenever MMA media pushes it out as a headline or something, but other than that I don’t look into it or read too much into it. But he’s doing what he’s supposed to do. He better be saying all that stuff. He needs to believe all that stuff too, because next weekend, we gonna find out.”

This bout will be Poirier’s first since a 2019 submission loss to UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Poirier says the loss and his resulting stint on the sidelines provided him with an opportunity to strengthen his mental game.

“I’ve always just submerged myself in work when I’ve lost before and just drowned everything out with hard work,” Poirier said. “This particular loss was the biggest loss of my career and also I had to get sidelined. I couldn’t just jump back in the gym and drown everything out. I had to think and sit on the couch and just watch everybody else fight. So it was more of just a mental training. I feel mentally stronger.”

Do you think Dustin Poirier will bounce back with a win over Dan Hooker this weekend?