As the current No.2 contender at 155lbs, Dustin Poirier was taking a keen interest in the hastily arranged interim lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje at UFC 249 recently, and he’s now revealed who he thought was going to win if it hadn’t been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is MMA. Anything can happen on any given night,” Poirier told MMA Fighting. “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.”
Poirier has never came up against Ferguson before, but he does know Gaethje well, having fought to the fourth round with him almost exactly two years ago, before emerging with a TKO victory.
We might yet get to see if Poirier’s prediction comes true at Ferguson vs. Gaethje is currently pencilled in to headline a UFC event on May 9th as the promotion looks to return to the sporting spotlight with a stacked card.
As for ‘The Diamond’ himself, he was in talks to fight Dan Hooker not so long ago, and he’s doing his best to continue to get some basic training in while the coronavirus restrictions are still in place.
“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, La. 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.”
“I’m trying to get back to the title. 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.”