UFC: Dustin Poirier Breaks Down Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje
Former UFC interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier is no stranger to overcoming setbacks. ‘The Diamond’ not only lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov in his last outing to the Octagon at UFC 242, when fighting for the title, he had to undergo hip surgery afterwards.
Despite the UFC having to overcome a major setback, when they had to postpone UFC 249, Dana White has stated that the UFC will return on May 9th. It is believed that Tony Ferguson will fight Justin Gaethje in the main event, rather than wait for Khabib Nurmagomedov, who is set to start Ramadan later this week.
Speaking to MMA Fighting, Poirier weighed in on Ferguson’s decision to accept an interim lightweight title bout against the formidable Gaethje on May 9th.
“It’s tough for me to call that ’cause I’m not in his shoes. I don’t know what he’s thinking, how he’s feeling. A lot of things play into that decision making. It’s tough to say.”
Amid the coronavirus pandemic and all of the uncertainty surrounding the sports world, Poirier made the decision to leave camp and join his family in Louisiana instead of preparing for his scheduled May 16th bout against Dan Hooker, first called him out after his win at UFC 243. Despite walking away from camp however, the 31 year old is focused on staying in shape.
“I’m staying as ready as I can,” Poirier said. “I can’t train. I can just run and hit bags pretty much. We’ll see what happens. I’m staying in decent shape but that’s not fight shape. That’s not fight camp shape. That’s not peaking for a fight. That’s just general health staying good. Staying crisp with my boxing. Stuff like that. Doing what I can do.
“Fortunately for me, I have a gym three miles away from my home, a personal gym. So I can go and hit the bags and shadow box. I have a couple buddies who have pro experience in Lafayette, Louisiana, so they’ll come meet me and we’ll wrestle a little bit here and there. Other than that, it’s just stuck in the house thinking. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next couple months.”
When asked about his thoughts on the matchup between Gaethje and Ferguson, Poirier said he was concerned with Justin’s cardio, taking the fight without a full camp.
“This is MMA. Anything can happen on any given night,” Poirier said. “But stylistically, I saw it matching up — the only thing that was in the back of my mind that I thought would work against my prediction was Justin’s cardio. I didn’t know how hard he was pushing before he got the call. I don’t know what kind of shape he was in.
“The endurance could have came into factor if it went past third, fourth or fifth round. Then I think Tony could have started pulling away. But in my head, I had Justin stopping him early.”
Despite all of the uncertainty, Poirier still has his eyes on the prize and is as determined as ever to get back into the cage and give the fans everything they’ve come to expect from the ever-determined lightweight contender.
“I’m trying to get back to the title,” Poirier said. “I just want big fights. I want the highest-ranked guys I can get. I just want to get back in there and get my hand raised.”
Do you agree with Dustin Poirier’s prediction for the Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje?