This April 4, 2015 lightweights Dustin Poirier and Carlos Diego Ferreira open the Fox Sports 1 main card for Mendes vs. Lamas Fight Night in the rare 1:00 PM (ET) slot at the Venue Patriot Center in City Fairfax, Virginia
The Match Up
Lightweight Dustin Poirier 16-4 vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira 11-1
Lightweight Dustin Poirier -185 vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira +160
3 Things You Should Know
1. Dustin Poirier's move back up to Lightweight is an odd move for a mostly successful featherweight prospect. I'll go out on a limb and say it won't end well.
Dustin is a fighter you can't help but appreciate. He's the kung fu kid to Liam Neeson's kung fu grandpa; always in the middle of the over the top action. Since his WEC debut in 2010, he's been a constant in the FW division. Now he's calling it quits at 145 and moving to the newly minted dos Anjos landscape.
I'm surprised by Poirier's move, but not by the sight of a FW moving up. My theory, such as the obvious is, is that lightweights think they smell blood in the water. After all, if Rafael dos Anjos, who started out 4-4 in the UFC*, could be champ, why can't they? It's a nice story. But it betrays not just how good dos Anjos is in his current Showtime busting incarnation, but how good he was when he started. Each of his four early losses had a lot to say about him, and read more as 'unfinished business' than the idea that the loser would wane as the victor waxed.
Dustin's losses are nothing like that. They've been emphatic, and thorough. His losses aren't the kind that dissolve within an expanded arsenal. This is why, no matter how much I support Dustin's career, I have to be skeptical of where it's headed if LW is seen as long term. Granted, I've been wrong before. A lot.
2. Carlos Diego Ferreira is better than his wins over Colton Smith and Ramsey Nijem indicate.
Beating Colton Smith isn't much of an accomplishment for a potential quality LW. Same thing for knocking out Ramsey Nijem, which is exactly how a crop of other lightweights have beaten Nijem. But beneath what looks like hollow wins is a solid scrapper with the type of well roundedness that still wins in this sport. His last outing was against Beneil Dariush, who has somehow erased the memory of being knocked out by Ramsey Nijem with quality performances since. While he lost, he lost to a solid fighter trending up.
3. Despite Poirier moving up in weight, he won't be badly outmuscled, but the onus is on him to fight above the level of his competition.
One of the problems Poirier has had in his career is his inability to separate himself from his opponent in the context of momentum. It's a little different than Tyson Griffin syndrome. Dustin attempts the high wire act stuff that fosters urgency (6 of his 9 wins under Zuffa are by finish), but there is a cost to the manner in which he does it. The reason I'm so skeptical of Dustin's chances at LW have to do with his defensive awareness. His arsenal far outweight his wits under pressure, and I think his mind works on overdrive; he thinks he can punch or d'arce his way out of trouble rather than calculate and counter.
Ferreira isn't the guy to really punish Dustin for his defensive flaws, which is why I think Poirier will experience a successful "debut" at LW. Carlos isn't a bad striker. Despite the lack of TKO finishes, he's got decent enough pop and is more than capable on the ground. However, he doesn't have the type of striking to put Dustin in a precarious position. Poirier is only at his worst against guys who can maintain pressure through dynamic offense. This doesn't describe Ferreira, who is much more conservative, despite being capable.
Poirier by Decision.