UFC interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier is confident he will emerge victorious against Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Poirier is expected to challenge the lightweight champion in a title unification fight at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi on September 7. Despite an impressive win over Max Holloway to win the interim belt last month, many still see “The Diamond” as a huge underdog in this matchup.
There has also been a narrative that the best chance for him to win is for Nurmagomedov to slow down later on in the fight. However, Poirier believes he is simply the better fighter and is capable of ending it early on as well.
“There’s not like one thing that’s glaring at me that we need to work on it’s just my overall game and being a better fighter,” Dustin Poirier said on Below the Belt’s Food Truck Diaries with Brendan Schaub (via BJPenn.com). “We have to make holes by just performing out there. I will and can [get back up after being taken down]. I create space with my jiujitsu. I don’t think people know how long I’ve been doing jiujitsu. As long as I’ve been fighting – before I ever fought. I’ve been doing jiujitsu 14 or 15 years, I’m a black belt. I’m gonna create space with submissions and put him in danger and make him have to respect me and then I’ll get up.
“It’s gonna be a scrap but I’m gonna make him make mistakes and we’ll see what happens. If he slows down, it’s gonna go downhill for him. I think with my overall game, I can cause threats and problems for him early on as well. I don’t need him to gas out to win this fight.”
Poirier Will Beat The Odds
Poirier has opened as the betting underdog in four of his last six fights. He hasn’t lost any of them, however. He expects a repeat to happen when he and “The Eagle” eventually collide.
“Against all odds, I’ll get it done, man,” Poirier added. It’s the story of my life.”
The title unification fight is not yet official, but one can expect an announcement soon, especially with Nurmagomedov’s teammates being eligible to compete on the same card after their sentences were reduced.