Dustin Poirier is only a few days away from the biggest fight of his career, against Conor McGregor in the UFC 264 main event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on July 10th.
‘The Diamond’ has had an illustrious career thus far, with wins over some of the best lightweight fighters in the world, including Eddie Alvarez, Justin Gaethje, and Conor McGregor himself. Here are Dustin Poirier’s top 5 UFC performances.
Conor McGregor 2
Dustin Poirier shocked the world when he knocked out Conor McGregor in their rematch at UFC 257 this past January. Having already suffered a TKO loss to the Irishman, Poirier was under immense pressure to perform. But they don’t say ‘Diamonds are made under pressure’ for no reason.
Poirier outsmarted McGregor in the first round by mixing it up, and refusing to engage in a kickboxing fight with the former two-division champion. Instead, he went for takedowns, and patiently attacked his arch-rival’s lead leg in the first frame to set up his knockout victory, which he earned halfway through the second round, with a barrage of punches, after McGregor’s leg was severely compromised.
Poirier is a slow starter, but once he gets going, he’s a hard man to stop. In their rematch, Alvarez started off well and attacked Poirier with inside leg kicks and occasional punches in the first two minutes of the fight. However, Poirier started to find his rhythm halfway through the first frame and didn’t allow his foe any room to work from thereon.
In the second round, Poirier upped the ante and attempted a couple of guillotine chokes, but was unsuccessful. Minutes later, he connected with a powerful left hand, rocking Alvarez. He finished the job with a flurry of strikes.
Poirier vs Alvarez, the crew breaks down this brutal showdown. pic.twitter.com/EV9KrkiFOc
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) July 29, 2018
Poirier faced the then featherweight champion, Max Holloway, for the interim lightweight title at UFC 236, and beat him by a rather one-sided unanimous decision. He outboxed the self-proclaimed best boxer in the UFC, battering and bruising his face throughout their five-round fight.
Holloway was able to throw fire in return as well, but the power differential was a bit too much, as ‘Blessed’ took way more damage compared to his opponent. Given that Holloway is considered one of the best strikers in the game, Poirier dominating him at his own game speaks volumes of the caliber of fighter he is.
Poirier VS Holloway 2 was such a crazy fight. pic.twitter.com/fHsfRhFtt1
— BirksMMA (@BirksMMA) January 19, 2021
Dustin Poirier fought Justin Gaethje when he was a reckless brawler, which made him an extremely scary opponent. Not only was Poirier able to beat him, but he was also able to put a bad beating on him. Their fight was high octane from start to finish, with Gaethje landing devastating low kicks, and Poirier constantly picking ‘The Highlight’ apart with his punches.
While Gaethje was fighting with virtually no defense whatsoever, Poirier was fighting a smart fight, mixing it up well to keep his opponent guessing and staying ahead on the scorecards. He badly hurt Gaethje in the fourth round and put him away with a barrage of killer blows.
Adversity breeds champions, and Poirier is the perfect example of it. In his five round main event with Dan Hooker, Poirier faced a lot of adversity but he fought fire with fire and came out on top. Hooker was the aggressor early on in the fight, landing more significant strikes and hurting Poirier, but the Louisiana native came back to dominate the New Zealander in the later rounds, and churn out a closely-contested unanimous decision victory.
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