After spending over eight years in the Octagon and winning a total of sixteen fights under the UFC banner, Dustin Poirier will finally get his chance to seize UFC gold when he takes on reigning featherweight champion Max Holloway in an interim lightweight title bout at UFC 236.
It’s been a long time coming but former WEC featherweight champ turned American Top Team coach Mike Brown thinks Poirier’s title shot couldn’t have come at a better time.
Speaking to MMA Junkie’s Mike Bohn in a recent interview, Brown said ‘The Diamond’ is in the prime of his career and finally ready to win a world title and cement his legacy as one of the greatest fighters in the world.
“I think it’s the perfect time,” Brown said. “I’m glad it took this long. Maybe he could’ve won the belt a year or two ago, but I’m really glad he’s had this time to mature and really come into his own. He’s found his game, found his own. He’s had a great career, some amazing fights, but every time he’s lost he’s made the right corrections. He’s gone back and analyzed it and come back much, much stronger. Now he’s without a doubt at his absolute prime. He’s a monster.”
Speaking of UFC 236 opponent Holloway, who Poirier originally submitted with a mounted triangle armbar back in 2012, Brown teased that Poirier may look for another submission victory over the Hawaiian on April 13.
“Everybody who has beat Max has put him on the floor at least once,” Brown said. “That probably wouldn’t be a bad idea. But Dustin’s game is to come forward and to crack you. He hits hard with both hands, and it doesn’t go away. He can hit just as hard in the fifth as he can in the first.
“We’ve always known that he was going to be a monster in five-rounders. We couldn’t wait for him to start getting main events and five rounders. That’s where he’s really going to excel, and it’s showing.”
With that said, Brown wouldn’t be surprised if Poirier overwhelmed and finished Holloway with pressure boxing and combinations, something which ‘Blessed’ has become somewhat of a specialist at in recent years.
“I think he beats him with pressure,” he said. “I think he beats him with superior punching power and pressure. … He hits hard with both hands, kicks hard with both legs, his gas tank is as good as it gets, and he knows how to use it. He can pressure anybody and take anybody out.”
UFC 236: Poirier vs. Holloway takes place this Saturday, April 13 at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.