Dustin Poirier is confident he can do what everyone else has failed to do, and that’s hand UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov his first ever loss.
Poirier (25-5, 1NC) extended his unbeaten run to six when he won the interim UFC lightweight title by defeating Max Holloway by decision at UFC 236. That set up a fight with Khabib at UFC 242 in September, something Poirier felt very confident about when he spoke at the pre-fight press conference.
“27 have tried, 27 have failed,” Poirier said. “A lot of people have been asking me where do I see weaknesses in Khabib’s game or where do I think he makes mistakes. I’ve kind of been sitting back talking to my coaches and thinking about this and I don’t really need him to be weak for me to be strong. I don’t need huge, glaring holes. (Transcription via MMA Fighting)
Before his recent win over Holloway, all of Poirier’s last three fights were stoppage wins against top contenders. Since returning to 155 pounds in 2015, Poirier has won nine fights and lost just once.
“I’m going to create them with my pressure, with my fight IQ and just my experience and the amount of rounds and years I’ve been doing this. It’s going to be a very high level fight. You’ve got two guys on the pound-for-pound list, one of them’s undefeated, both of them are champions. Two champions are going on, one champion is coming out. This is going to be a huge fight. I’m excited about it. I’ll make those openings that we’re talking about.”
Poirier concluded by saying it’s not a case of exploiting Khabib’s weaknesses in their fight, he thinks his own talents will shine through and make the Russian go to places that he has never been to in any of his previous 27 fights.
“I don’t need to find huge holes. The guy’s good. I can’t sit up here and say anything bad about the guy. He’s good. He’s the world champ. But I’m going to make things happen in there and bring him to places he’s never been in there. That’s just it.”