Former featherweight champion Max Holloway considers himself to be the best boxer in the UFC. However, Dustin Poirier has a different idea about who takes that honor.
Poirier has not one, but two victories over Holloway, once at featherweight in 2012 and again in 2019, this time at lightweight. Dustin was the winner both times, with the second fight being an all-out standup war.
With these wins, one might think that Dustin would consider himself the best boxer in the UFC, since that is an honor Max tries to hold. However, speaking on The MMA Hour Dustin explained that he can not say that about himself, and instead feels that the best boxer in the UFC is former bantamweight champ Petr Yan.
“No… I think Petr Yan (is the best boxer in the UFC). Just the way he moves. He doesn’t waste a lot of movements. His positioning is always crisp. His footwork, he’s never out of position. He doesn’t load up, but he throws clean power shots. Good accuracy, but he works the body well. Goes up, goes up. There’s just a lot of things that he does really well,” Poirier said.
“I’m on that list. I’m definitely on that list. I can’t say that I am. I’m not that guy. I’m not that guy, pal. I can box.”
Firing Back At Justin Gaethje
Aside from that, Dustin Poirier is set to have his second shot at the lightweight title, when he faces champ Charles Oliveira at UFC 269, on December 11th. There has been some talk about who is next in line for the title, but the general consensus is that it will be Justin Gaethje.
After beating Michael Chandler, Gaethje suggested that he does to think Dustin would want to have a rematch with him, and would retire instead. Dustin say that this is a ridiculous notion, and that he is not going anywhere, nor afraid of fighting Justin a second time.
“Nah man, I’m a fighter. I’m fortunate enough now, with this year that I’ve had, I could walk away. It’s a great position to be in. But these guys need ass whoopings, and I’m the guy to give it to them. We can’t walk away like that,” Poirier said.
“With him saying that, I had a great night that night. I might have had a limp, but I was back at the big Air BnB, we had like a house party, I was drinking Modelos, I was fine. He doesn’t have any memories of going back and looking at the fight because I knocked him out. He’s probably cloudy. I remember the night. It was a great night.”
As for who deserves the title shot, Poirier thinks that Gaethje is more deserving than someone like Islam Makhachev, who has been considered for that role. Although he is not opposed to the idea of Islam and Justin fighting for the number one contendership.
“I honestly don’t think that far ahead into it, because I’ve got my hands full. Like I said, I don’t like to look to far ahead into the future. Gaethje, this is one fight since the title fight, so obviously he’s still the number two ranked guy. Islam is on a huge streak,” Poirier said.
“It’s not my call. Maybe Islam needs to fight one more top contender, and then he’s next. I don’t know. Maybe Gaethje should fight Islam, that way they settle it. That’s the beautiful thing about fighting right? They can just fight it out.”
Dustin Poirier Expects A Finish Over Oliveira
First things first, Dustin Poirier has to get past Charles Oliveira, in the UFC 269 main event. This is a highly anticipated fight that will determine who the best lightweight in the world is, following the retirement of Khabib Nurmagomedov.
As this is his second crack at the belt, Dustin Poirier knows that this will likely be the last chance he gets to fight for the title. Knowing this, he is going into this fight prepared to give his all and not let anything get in the way of victory.
“That thought has crossed my mind. If I don’t get this done, what will I have to do to climb this mountain again? But victory is what’s gonna happen. I just try to push that stuff out with positivity,” Poirier said.
“I just gotta slap myself around, and say ‘Don’t talk to yourself like that. Don’t talk to me like that,’ but that’s a thing we’re constantly doing. Or I’m constantly doing. Not just in fighting, in business and everything. Hey, this is all going to work out… I’m thankful for the journey, honestly. The obstacle is the way, and that’s the beauty of what we do.”
All of this is to say that, heading into this fight Dustin Poirier is ready to pull out all the stops. When he puts it all together like this, Dustin sees no outcome where this fight does not end with a finish.
“I really think I’m going to stop this guy. 25 minutes is too long to fight with me and not get hit with a shot, not get put in a bad position. I’m feeling the best I’ve ever felt. My body feels good. I’m really focused. I can’t wait… I feel like I have another opportunity here where the stars are aligning and I put myself in position to really go out there and say I did it,” Poirier said.
“These 25 minutes are going to last the rest of my life, and maybe this is the last time I make that walk to fight for a championship. These 25 minutes mean so much to me, that I’m willing to push through anything that presents itself in these 25 minutes man. I’m ready to go, and I really believe I’m going to be the world champion.”
Dustin Poirier will be fighting Charles Oliveira at UFC 269, on December 11th. It will be exciting to see who walks away with the lightweight strap.