Dustin Poirier Says Justin Gaethje is ‘Not a Matador’

Published 12/02/2020, 5:30 PM EST
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – SEPTEMBER 06: Dustin Poirier poses on the scale during the UFC 242 weigh-in at The Arena on September 6, 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


The current #2 UFC lightweight contender Dustin Poirier is looking to get back into title contention. The American star will take on Ireland’s own, Conor McGregor, in a rematch. Poirier and McGregor will be the main event for the UFC’s first pay-per-view in 2020.

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Having won the interim lightweight title, Poirier would face off against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242. While ‘The Eagle’ notched a submission victory, Poirier did show impressive skills.

At one point during the fight, Poirier managed to catch Nurmagomedov in a choke that looked extremely tight, only for Khabib to stay composed and free himself.

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ATLANTA, GA – APRIL 13: (L-R) UFC President Dana White places the interim lightweight championship belt on Dustin Poirier after defeating Max Holloway in their interim lightweight championship bout during the UFC 236 event at State Farm Arena on April 13, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Sitting down with Morning Kombat’s Luke Thomas, Dustin went on to give his thoughts on the UFC 254 card. Justin Gaethje, who became interim champion by beating Tony Ferguson, would get his chance to unify the titles. However, the result was the same as Nurmagomedov getting a dominant second round finish.

Dustin proceeded to tell Luke Thomas, “I bet Khabib to win straight up, and I bet Khabib to win by submission. So I doubled down on that, I thought he was going to win.”

Dustin Poirier on Tony vs Justin

While the entire roster knows Khabib’s game plan, it is remarkable how no one can stop it. Gaethje went into this fight with a strong wrestling pedigree, but ultimately it was no match for that of ‘The Eagle’.

“Of course, I was more surprised of Justin’s jiu-jitsu and positional awareness on the ground, the lack of,” Dustin Poirier continued.

“But I don’t have a whole lot of room to talk, I’ve been doing jiu-jitsu for a long time, competing for a long time, and I got beat up there too. The armbar, the triangle, the quick mounts that Khabib did, I think Justin was out of his game.”

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Poirier went on to say, “It looked like after the first round he was tired. Certain guys can’t adjust their styles that much. Justin is the wrecking ball, not so much the matador. I think Tony made Justin look a little better than he is honestly.”

With Khabib yet to acknowledge his future or relinquish his title, the lightweight division has been sorting itself out. Tony Ferguson will take on Charles Oliveira at UFC 256 while Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler are yet to be booked.

However, Dustin Poirier feels that the victor of his fight against the Irishman should be next in line for a shot at the title.

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Keith Dsouza

193 articles

Keith D'Souza is part of the Essentially Sports MMA writing team. Having followed the sport since 2013, some of his favorite fighters include Max Holloway, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Conor McGregor, and Johny Hendricks. Keith also runs PureMMAIndia, a brand that promotes MMA over social media which aims at growing the sport in India.

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