Poirier set for first main event Tuesday on Fuel
Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier believes it is his time to shine and nothing is going to stop him from reaching his goal of becoming the UFC featherweight champion.
Since the WEC/UFC merger, Poirier has racked up four consecutive wins and looked more impressive with each outing. Building momentum with every victory, Poirier is getting closer to a title shot and a win over Chan Sung Jung in the main event of UFC on Fuel TV: Korean Zombie vs. Poirier on Tuesday could potentially do the trick.
With the biggest fight of his young career just around the corner, a potential title shot on the line and a headlining slot in the sport’s biggest organization, there will be no holding back.
“I’m excited for the fight because Chan Sung Jung is very aggressive and he has really heavy hands,” Poirier told HeavyMMA. “He has a great chin and I’m excited because of his fighting style. He likes to push forward, bring the fight and I like that because it guarantees a great fight. Those are the fights I want to be a part of. It’s going to be a battle and I’m a fighter, so that excites me.
“I want to go out there and deliver a main-event caliber fight, and that’s the great thing about this matchup. It’s going to be a battle and there won’t be a choice. We are going to go in there and beat each other up. It is 25 minutes, and it’s going to be an all-out, fast-paced fight. I don’t see how it can’t live up to being a main event. There is no added pressure. I have to show up healthy, ready to fight and the rest will take care of itself.
“I think the next few months will clear up who is Top 10 in the division. It’s a new weight class to the organization and a lot of guys started dropping down, so things got kind of crammed up. But (Erik) Koch is about to fight (Jose) Aldo, (Hatsu) Hioki fights soon and I’m fighting Chan Sung Jung. The next couple of months are really going to clear things up.”
A victory over “The Korean Zombie” should move Poirier into the No. 1 contender role at 145 pounds. Throughout his progression as a mixed martial artist, Poirier has sought to test himself against the best competition available and he believes squaring off with Aldo would be the ultimate test of skill. While champion Aldo and Koch are set to mix it up at UFC 149, Poirier believes a future matchup with either fighter is inevitable.
“I want to fight the best, and right now that is Jose Aldo,” Poirier said. “I’m fighting to be the best and my overall goal is to become champion. That’s what it is all about for me and a fight with Jose Aldo would mean everything.
“Erik Koch is 23, 24 years old. I’m 23, and we are going to be in this sport for a long time. We are going to fight. There is no doubt in mind we are going to fight someday.”
Poirier is creating success inside the cage, but the documentary “Fightville” is helping Poirier gain attention from other avenues. The film follows Poirier from his days an amateur fighter on the regional circuit in Louisiana up until he finally gets his break in the WEC. It was a surreal experience for Poirier, as he can look back to the struggles of an amateur fighter to one who is set to make his first main-event appearance in the UFC.
“I was an amateur when we started filming that documentary,” Poirier said. “There was no way to look into the future and know I would be fighting for the UFC and headlining fight cards. It was an awesome experience, and I’m going to have those moments caught on film forever.
“I watch the movie now and think, ‘What was I doing? Why was I cutting weight like that?’ or ‘What was I doing in that fight?’ It’s weird looking back and seeing those things – especially from where I’m at now compared to who I was then.”
The next wave of mixed martial artists are making their way to title contention and Poirier is excited to be at the forefront of the movement. With several of the sport’s young stars already putting on memorable displays this summer, Poirier will look to make a statement of his own Tuesday night.
“A lot of guys back in the day were coming from single disciplines and trying to do MMA, but guys now are starting young and training all of the martial arts,” Poirier said. “They are doing everything. MMA is becoming its own martial art and becoming its own style. I’m happy to be on that wave of new young guys who are well-rounded and who started off learning everything.
“When I come out to fight The Korean Zombie, I’m going to be the most technical, focused and prepared fighter I’ve ever been. It’s going to be my best performance. I’m going to show I’m a true professional and it’s going to be a beautiful thing, man.”