Dustin Poirier has his eyes set on the UFC lightweight title after winning the interim lightweight title by beating the king of Hawaii, Max Holloway in a grueling battle. Poirier is right now at the peak of his career with an opportunity to be the lightweight champion inUFC 242, Abu Dhabi. However, beating Khabib is easier said than done. Many have tried and none of them could overcome the Russian wrecking machine.
Talking about him gameplan for Khabib Nurmagomedov for his upcoming bout, Poirier said that his gameplan will be to defend on the ground and get Khabib strained in the process, forcing him to trade punches with him inside the octagon. Poirier ins his interview The Schmo said:
” We have been working on muscle endurance to continuously be able to defend his takedowns and scramble. But I have been wrestling my ass off for the last 7 years at American Top Team.”
When asked whether he can overcome Khabib on the ground, Poirier said:
“I am going to make his scramble, I am going to make strain use a lot of energy then I am going to make him box”
Khabib’s grappling and wrestling skills put him on a level above all other fighters in UFC. Khabib does the same thing to each of his opponents. He is going to shoot for a takedown and eventually, Khabib is going to get it. Then Khabib will hurt his opponent with the ground and pound until he breaks his opponent inside the octagon. He did the same to Conor and more. In the second round, Khabib knocked down Conor before Conor regrouped and got some offenses going. So we know Khabib can trade punches even his striking skill is not highly effective.
However, Khabib’s boxing skills are no match to what Dustin Poirier can do in a stand-up. From Poirier’s fight against Eddie Alvarez and Justin gathje, we have known that Poirier takes his opponents to deep water and drowns them there. He trades punches with the best boxer in UFC, Max Holloway and was able to overcome Max’s insane pressure. So we can conclude that Dustin is going to have more success if he strikes with Khabib than if he gets on the ground with the Eagle.
Dustin Poirier has all the tools to neutralize Khabib’s wrestling. It’s very unlikely that Dustin Poirier is going beat Khabib on the ground. However, Dustin can use his striking to keep the Russian wrecking machine at the bay. Poirier can use his jabs and maybe body shots to make Khabib think twice before he shoots for a takedown. And Dustin has to be comfortable to be on the ground since sooner or later Khabib will take Poirier down.
One thing for sure, in a historic event at Abu Dhabi in UFC 242, two of the best lightweight of all time, Khabib and Dustin Poirier are going to put on a show to remember for the ages.