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Inspired by Rocky Balboa, UFC 242’s Dustin Poirier sees title fight as ‘opportunity to make history’

Dustin Poirier is inspired by Rocky Balboa’s underdog tale ahead of UFC 242 title bout against Khabib Nurmagomedov.

The interim lightweight champion wants to take advantage of his underdog status. On the eve of his title unification bout against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242, Dustin Poirier draws inspiration from the underdog tale of Rocky Balboa, the boxer who achieved success against all odds in the movies.

In an interview with Combate, the ‘Diamond’ knows that beating an opponent that 27 other fighters failed to won’t be an easy task, but Dustin believes that the chance to go down in history as the man who defeated Nurmagomedov works as an incredible motivator.

“I’m facing Khabib, a man who was never defeated before, considered one of the best in the world,” Poirier said. “I’m crossing the desert for this, in hostile territory, where he will have the crowd on his side. But that’s the story of my whole life, being the underdog in a fight. But every dog has its day. It’s a like a story out of a Rocky Balboa movie. I can get in there against all odds and show the person I am, the kind of fighter I am. I’m representing myself and my family. I have this opportunity to make history and I’m grabbing it with all my might.”

When it comes to the fight itself, Poirier shows confidence and believes Khabib will try the same approach he did with his previous opponents, a heavy wrestling-oriented strategy, for which Dustin claims to be ready.

“I expect a tough fight, I think he’ll try to keep a short distance and press me against the cage. It’s what he does to everybody, but I have what it takes to beat him. I’ll stop him, I’ll put him in danger. I take more risks than any other fighter he has ever faced. It’s going to be an insane fight.”

Dustin Poirier (25-5-1 NC) became the interim lightweight champion after defeating the featherweight champion, Max Holloway, via unanimous decision back in April. The win extended the 30-year-old’s win streak to four wins in a row after his No Contest against Eddie Alvarez back in May 2017. In the meantime, the Diamond picked up wins over the likes of Anthony Pettis, Justin Gaethje and Alvarez in their rematch.

Now, Dustin Poirier is expected to take on undisputed champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, at UFC 242, on September 7.