May 14, 2012; Fairfax, VA, USA; Dustin Poirier reacts after weighing in for his fight against the Korean Zombie during the Korean Zombie vs Poirier weigh-in at Patriot Center. Mandatory Credit: Rafael Suanes-US PRESSWIRE
Bloody Elbow's Steph "Crooklyn" Daniels caught up with Dustin Poirier before his UFC on Fuel TV 3 bout with Chan Sung Jung, "the Korean Zombie." Brian Hemminger transcribed some of the highlights, full audio is after the jump. Kid Nate.
On where he is coming into the fight
Poirier: "Just the whole journey of finding myself, who I really am and just growing up as a person and a martial artist. That's been the struggle but I've found me just over these last couple fights and these last couple years. I'm really finding out who I am and I've learned so much in my fights not just as a fighter but as a person. Traveling and training and meeting new people, just becoming who I am now, I'm really happy with who I am and comfortable in my skin and I think that journey was a struggle in the beginning.
"I'm gonna rise to the occasion and he'll bring the best out of me. This fight's a big fight. Even my last fight I was nervous. I said, "Man, I worked so hard to get here and now this young guy has an opportunity to come in here and make a name off of me. It was his debut, 20 year old guy, youngest guy on the UFC roster." All the work I put in and he could come in here, I was confident in my skills but it's a fight, anything could happen. I went in there and performed like I knew I could. This next fight is pressure. I want to live up like my last fight and the fight before that and keep growing, keep the hype going and get a title shot in the future. I feel the pressure for that too. If I go in there on May 15th and I perform up to my ability and fight, I'm gonna win. There's no doubt in my mind."
More after the jump, including complete audio of the interview...
On preparing for Chan Sung Jung:
Poirier: "I'm crazy about [reviewing my opponents' footage], I watch it a couple times a day every day. I drink my coffee and do conditioning in the morning and I watch it a couple of times and then I come home and watch some again. I watch it a lot and I really think like in the Pablo Garza fight, I started watching him a lot and that helped. My last fight was kind of short notice with a bunch of different changes so I didn't get to do it as much. For the Zombie fight, I've had a lot of footage to watch. People change between fights and his last fight was a seven second knockout so that's kind of hard to watch so I keep going back further into his tapes and see where he's strong breaking that down. I'm obsessed.
"Obviously the Korean Zombie has a great chin and heavy hands so I'm not going to try to brawl with him or try to overwhelm him. It all depends on the style but I don't really go in there with gameplans, I just go in there to fight. I feel like I'm dangerous wherever the fight goes. Every fight starts on the feet so I have to be ready there but then it's all about whatever transition we go to. For me, I don't think, "I'm gonna take you down," or anything like that. I just try to use what I've learned and observed to win a fight.
"I think he gets a little bit emotional. We've seen it over and over again where his technique goes out the window and he gets a little wild. I think I'm a little bit more of an accurate striker and a little slicker with my stand-up. He obviously has great stand-up skills, I've seen flashes of it in his brawling but most of the time when he gets hit, he wants to hit you five times harder and he drops his hands and gets crazy so I'm gonna have to pick my shots and fight a smart fight and be professional and I know I will."