Dustin Poirier and his camp expect him to come out on top against Khabib Nurmagomedov — and even believe a finish is possible.
Poirier will attempt to become the unified lightweight champion when he faces Nurmagomedov in the main event of UFC 242 on September 7. To do that, he must do what no other fighter has done and that’s inflict defeat on the Dagestan native.
However, “The Diamond” is confident and so is his strength and conditioning coach Phil Daru who expects a fourth-round stoppage:
“I’m going to go ahead and say we’re going to finish (Nurmagomedov) in the fourth round,” Daru said (via Bloody Elbow). “We’re going to make him tired.
“I know that’s funny to say, but we’re going to make him try to shoot and we’re going to keep getting up. We’re going to hit him with shots to the body.”
The threat of the takedown is always there when it comes to Nurmagomedov. However, Daru is confident that Poirier can stop them and even turn it to his advantage by using his boxing:
“The goal really is to make sure we’re digging for underhooks and that Dustin has a strong core so he can rotate, as far as the transverse abdominis for rotation, so he can change direction and turn Khabib around and have him facing the cage,” Daru explained. “Then [Poirier] can push off and rain his shots the way he does.
“Let’s face it, Dustin is one of the best — if not the best — boxer in MMA right now. With that being said, we want to make sure we’re working on that as well. We don’t want to just cater to Khabib’s strengths.”
What do you make of Daru’s comments?