Poirier will have his second chance to reach the lightweight mountaintop this weekend in the UFC 269 main event. After capturing interim gold with a victory over Max Holloway in 2019, “The Diamond” fell short in a unification bout against undefeated legend Khabib Nurmagomedov five months later.
Since then, Poirier has been at his best and firmly established himself as one of the greatest lightweights on the planet. After a five-round Fight of the Night win against Dan Hooker, a memorable knockout of Conor McGregor, and a trilogy triumph over the Irishman, the Louisianan has now turned his attention back to title glory.
To achieve it, he’ll have to go through another promotional veteran who boasts a similarly inspirational story in the UFC. After 28 appearances on MMA’s biggest stage, Oliveira had gold wrapped around his waist following an incredible comeback against Michael Chandler earlier this year. He’ll be looking to cement his place on the throne in his first defense this Saturday.
Poirier Acknowledges The Threat Of “Do Bronx”
Despite his active nine-fight winning streak, which includes successes against Chandler, Tony Ferguson, and Kevin Lee, and his ability to overcome adversity in his championship-winning performance, many have attempted to discredit Oliveira’s reign.
As well as top contender Justin Gaethje suggesting the Brazilian has to defeat Poirier to truly be seen as the lightweight king, many have branded the #1-ranked contender as the “uncrowned champion.” But the challenger isn’t following the same mindset heading into his second title shot.
During an appearance on DC & RC, Poirier acknowledged the wide range of skills Oliveira boasts and the threat he’ll pose on Saturday. “The Diamond” also compared his own tendency to finish fights with Oliveira’s, which has seen the Brazilian record the most submission wins in UFC history.
“He (Oliveira) does a lot of great things. Throws big power shots, he has a good, clean left hook, a good long cross, big knees, good front kicks, and obviously his jiu-jitsu is dangerous everywhere. He does a lot of good things. He’s a very dangerous fighter.
“That’s the thing, we’re both finishers. We’re not going out there trying to jab and win rounds; circle and jab, and win rounds. We’re trying to finish each other. So the fans are in for a treat when it comes to that.”
Whether we witness a shocking finish or a five-round war, Saturday’s main event is sure to thrill for as long as it lasts, and will likely be the icing on top of a spectacular cake that will be UFC 269. The UFC is certainly closing out the year in style.
Are you backing Dustin Poirier to dethrone Charles Oliveira at UFC 269?