Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier has been a fixture in UFC for over a decade, but he’s only recently emerged as a contender for a belt. Always known as a talented grappler, Poirier has recently added an improved stand-up game to his repertoire, making him an extremely dangerous all-around fighter. (To order the PPV, go here.)
Poirier faces off with featherweight champion Max Holloway Saturday at UFC 236 for his long-awaited shot at a title — albeit an interim belt. Suspended lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov awaits the winner of the fight, so unifying the belts will be no easy task. But Poirier has made a career of defying the odds. He’ll look to keep his unlikely rise to the top of the lightweight division rolling regardless of who Dana White and UFC put in front of him.
Outside of the Octagon, Poirier is a family man known for his charity work locally in Louisiana. With an exciting fight style in the cage along with a humble and generous persona outside, Poirier is one of the UFC’s most interesting fighters. With a win, he could find himself in a position to become a household name.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Who Is Dustin Poirier’s Wife?
Dustin Poirier’s wife is Jolie Poirier. Dustin and Jolie initially met as teenagers and started dating at just 14 years old. The two decided to tie the knot after six years. They were married on September 4, 2009. Poirier was 20 years old at the time of their wedding.
Jolie Poirier works as the Vice President/Director of the nonprofit she started alongside Dustin, The Good Fight Foundation. The Good Fight focuses most of its efforts on local issues in the Poirier’s home of Louisiana and has orchestrated food drives, helped to provide students with school supplies and provided readiness kits to the local homeless population.
Dustin and Jolie Poirier’s daughter, Parker Noelle Poirier, was born on August 20, 2016 .
Dustin Poirier has credited the turnaround in his game to his daughter’s birth. “Just being a father has helped me put fighting in perspective and realize what’s really important in life,” Poirier told the UFC 236 countdown.
2. What Is Dustin Poirier’s Record?
Dustin Poirier’s record is 24-5 (1 NC). One of the best all-around fighters in the game, Poirier is equally comfortable standing on his feet trading punches as he is taking you to the ground and smothering you with his high-level wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Out of his 24 wins, Poirier has stopped 19 fighters. Of those 19, he has finished 11 by KO/TKO and eight via submission.
With a career spanning 10 years, Poirier only recently started picking up big name wins. While always highly regarded for his ground game, Poirier has recently shown an improved stand-up game that has vaulted him into the upper echelon of UFC lightweights.
In his most recent run to the interim lightweight fight, he’s beaten a number of established UFC veterans and former champions. Starting off with a win over Jim Miller, Poirier followed that up by beating Anthony Pettis, Justin Gaethje, and Eddie Alvarez (after an unfortunate NC in their first matchup) in succession to set himself up for a shot at the interim belt.
3. What Is Dustin Poirier’s Height?
Dustin Poirier is 5’9″. Despite not possessing exceptional size in terms of his height, Poirier is an exceptional wrestler. Since moving up to face larger competition at the lightweight division, he has shown that the added weight makes him even more dangerous. With only one loss to his name since returning to 155 pounds, Poirier has strung together a series of impressive wins over Anthony Pettis, Justin Gaethje, and Eddie Alvarez en route to his interim title shot.
Both Pettis and Gaethje had considerable height advantages over Poirier, yet Poirier was able to overcome the height advantage to do major damage inside while using his excellent wrestling chops to score key takedowns for points. Poirier typically cut nearly 20 pounds to fight at featherweight and the lessened weight cut at lightweight has seemed to help with his strength, punching power, and stamina.
The only fighter who Poirier faced that has been his height (or smaller) at lightweight was arguably the stronger and more accomplished grappler in Eddie Alvarez. After their first tilt ended in an ugly no contest because of an illegal Alvarez knee, Poirier came back and put Alvarez out with a flurry of heavy punches and knees, showing off that improved stand-up game.
4. Who Could Be Dustin Poirier’s Next Fight?
If Dustin Poirier beats Max Holloway, his next fight will be against suspended lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in a title unification bout. With Nurmagomedov suspended until July 6 following the Conor McGregor melee, Poirier won’t have to wait long to get his unification shot.
If Poirier loses to Holloway, it’s back to the drawing board for the versatile veteran. Al Iaquinta and Donald Cerrone on May 4 may be a possible option. Especially if Holloway vs Poirier is a closely contested fight, this matchup may prove to be a title eliminator for the winner of the lightweight unification bout.
One interesting option is Justin Gaethje as although he JUST fought (and lost) to Poirier, he is one of the lightweight division’s top prospects and does not have his next fight lined up. Their fight was closely contested, and it would be a great storyline to see the two go at it again for another possible shot at the belt.
5. What Happened In Dustin Poirier vs Max Holloway 1?
Dustin Poirier submitted Max Holloway late in the first round during their first matchup in February 2012. However, the decision doesn’t tell the tale of the whole fight. Holloway was a UFC rookie and came out of the gates looking very confident and composed on his feet. In fact, his standup game was so sharp it seemed to take commentator Joe Rogan aback.
“The first views we’re getting here of Max Holloway, I like his technique, I like the way he holds his hands.” Rogan added, “His movement is excellent, he looks like a very seasoned striker.”
Poirier initially struggled with Holloway’s unique striking before deciding to try and take the fight to the ground at the three-minute mark in the first round following a reckless knee from Holloway. Holloway would stuff Poirier’s first attempt but would soon find himself pressed up against the cage where Poirier slammed him to the ground.
Once Poirier got the fight to the ground, Holloway was helpless to escape. Save from a desperate attempt to cage walk out of Poirier’s mount, Poirier manhandled Holloway and didn’t give him an inch to breathe. After Holloway’s last-ditch cage walk escape attempt, Poirier caught his arm and caught him in a mounted triangle armbar.
Although Holloway’s ground game has significantly improved since his UFC debut, so too has Poirier’s stand up. The two fighters are much more complete versions of their selves that fought all the way back in 2012, making this matchup a bit tougher to predict. That said, Poirier is still the superior grappler and should he be able to get this fight back to the ground, has a very good chance to pick up yet another win over Holloway.
UFC 236 airs April 13 on ESPN+. You can order it here.