Former top-ranked UFC featherweight Dustin Poirier got back into the win column in his lightweight re-debut on the main card of yesterday’s (Sat., April 4, 2015), UFC Fight Night 63 from Fairfax, Virginia knocking out once-hyped challenger Carlos Diego Ferreira with an impressive first round flurry.
It was a “Performance of the Night”-bonus winning victory, and it also established Poirier as a potential force in the already stacked UFC 155-pound arena. Take a look at “The Diamond’s” handiwork below:
After his UFC 178 loss to rising star Conor McGregor last fall, Poirier said he was done putting his body through the draining weight cuts to make the divisional limit. But at the UFC Fight Night Fairfax post-fight presser (transcribed by MMAJunkie.com), Poirier said that for this match-up, he could focus on what he loves most, and that’s simply fighting:
“I had a blast this week. I was comfortable,” he said. “There was a lot less stress (at featherweight). It was more about the weight cut than the fight. This camp, it was all about the fight. I could focus on my performance the whole time. Weight wasn’t an issue. 155 is closer to my natural weight, so my body just wanted to grow and I’ve been holding it back for years. My body is still going to adapt to this weight class.”
With his first win out of the way, Poirier is planning on getting a top ranking spot within the next year, which means he’ll have to stay active. That’s just fine with him, as he’s already got his next date set up on June 6’s UFC Fight Night 68 from New Orleans in his home state of Louisiana:
“I haven’t really been thinking about opponents, but it’s wide open,” he said. “My plan is to crack the Top 10 this year. So any matchup they want. Joe Silva told me they have a spot for me June 6 in New Orleans. I mean, I am New Orleans, so they can’t go there without me being on the card. So whoever wants it can come and get it – whoever.”
Poirier also closed the door on any possible return for lightweight, assuring that his future was at lightweight as he gets older:
“I don’t think I’m going back right now. As of now, I’m a lightweight.”
Despite owning the UFC records for most wins in featherweight history with eight and most finishes with five, Poirier has seemingly found a better fit at his former home of lightweight. He was oftentimes rocked in his fights at featherweight, something that definitely could have been in part due to the draining cuts he put his body through.
But the UFC lightweight division is one of the toughest in all of MMA, and Poirier has also faltered when he’s faced truly elite talent like McGregor, Cub Swanson, and Chan Sung Jung. Will his new weight class make “The Diamond” a potential contender in a stacked division?
Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan for USA TODAY Sports