5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) / 155 lb (70 kg; 11 st 1 lb) / Lightweight
Early MMA Career
Once Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier smells blood, he is one of the best finishers in the game. With his high-level and elusive boxing, he is undoubtedly one of the best lightweights in the world right now. With Khabib vacating the belt, Poirier has a significant chance of becoming an undisputed champion.
Poirier did not have special treatment; he was one of those fighters that climbed the rankings by beating everyone fair and square. Hence he said, “paid in full.” Unlike most contenders with high-level college wrestling, Poirier was one of those who started street fighting where he got into trouble.
He started his MMA career back in 2009, competing in his hometown of Louisiana. He then joined a major MMA Promotion of WEC after having a record of 7-0. In his WEC debut, he lost his fight against Danny Castillo via unanimous decision. It was his first MMA loss but was just a minor setback for things to come.
He went on to win his next fight finishing Zach Micklewright before moving down to featherweight. For his first UFC fight, he also made his featherweight debut against Josh Grispi. Poirier was a great well-rounded fighter; he showed huge potentials in becoming an elite fighter.
For his next three fights, he beat Jason Young, Pablo Garza, and Max Holloway. His first big test was against Chan Sung Jung, who was also making a name for himself. It showed that Sung Jung was just the better fighter that night and submitted Poirier via Brabo choke.
Poirier did not give up and just focused on getting better. He suffered another loss against Cub Swanson but went on to ride a three-fight win streak.
McGregor vs. Poirier
UFC booked him against the mega-star Conor McGregor, it was an ample opportunity for Poirier as there was a lot of hype with McGregor, and he could potentially steal it. At that time, McGregor liked to trash-talk his opponents, and Poirier was one of those that got into his head. McGregor predicted that the fight would end in the first round, and Mystic Mac delivered.
After suffering a significant loss, Poirier decided to move up to lightweight and try his shot. Fighting at 155 division, he also stops his body from cutting too much weight, and it was also his natural weight division.
He landed an impressive performance for his first Lightweight fight by knocking Carlos Diego Ferreira out in the first round. Poirier looked great as a lightweight, and it showed. He proceeded to win his next three fights beating rising contenders as well. Unfortunately, he lost to Michael Johnson, who has lightning-hand speed.
It was an unfortunate loss since Poirier was already building considerable momentum, but it did not stop him chasing the title. He then beat Jim Miller via majority decision.
Poirier vs. Former Champions
UFC then granted a massive opportunity for Poirier, as he was offered to fight the former lightweight champion, Eddie Alvarez. It was going as a great fight until Alvarez landed an illegal knee that knocked Poirier out. Due to not fully recovering, the referee decided to rule the battle as a no contest. It made sense to run it back, but UFC booked Alvarez vs. Gaethje instead.
Poirier was in search of other opponents, and another former champion was booked. It was against Anthony Pettis. Poirier dominated most parts of the fight, and at the third round, Poirier got on a full mount that led to Pettis injuring his rib.
He was then booked against former WSOF lightweight champion Justin Gaethje. It was a back and forth war with Gaethje landing brutal leg kicks. The fight could have gone either way, but Poirier timed a counter punch from Gaethje’s leg kick at the third round that led to the finish. Poirier has said that had the fight gone longer, his legs might have given up.
It made sense to run back the no-contest fight from Eddie Alvarez, and the UFC just did that. The battle had a bit of bad blood since some said that Poirier gave up inside the Octagon. It was a feeling-out process for both fighters in the first round, but in the second round, Alvarez managed to secure a dominant position to land strikes with Poirier on the ground with his back on the corner. Alvarez then committed the mistake of landing an illegal 12-6 elbow that made the referee step in and pause the fight.
Alvarez lost the position, and the fight went back to standing. Once the fighting resumed, Poirier landed a heavy shot that led to Alvarez being stunned. Poirier then went on to finish Alvarez. He then called for a title shot since he has beaten three former champions.
Interim Lightweight Champion
An interim fight was booked for Poirier against then featherweight champion Max Holloway; it was also a rematch. Poirier landed heavy shots in the battle that made Holloway back up a few times, but Holloway also had his moments in the fight. It was just that Poirier had better shots, landed the knee that led to a cut and his power was superior.
Khabib vs. Poirier
A title unification was the fight next, and it was against Khabib Nurmagomedov. Poirier’s game plan was not to get taken down and keep the fight standing. The problem was Khabib’s wrestling was just on another level, and once Khabib got Poirier down, he just had no answer. Khabib secured a rear-naked choke on a tired Poirier in the third round.
Rebound after Title Loss
It was a devastating loss knowing that Khabib just outclassed Poirier. A rising contender, Dan Hooker, called out Poirier for a potential fight, and Poirier agreed. It turned out to be one of the best fights and had one of the best rounds.
Hooker landed strikes that could have knocked other lightweights out in the second round, but Poirier showed tremendous heart. As the fight went on to the later rounds, Poirier performed better, and Hooker slowed down. Poirier won via unanimous decision.
McGregor vs. Poirier Trilogy
A rematch and money fight was offered to Poirier since the UFC booked him against Conor McGregor. It was a big opportunity for Poirier to make money and also avenge his loss. Poirier invested in the leg kicks early in the fight and even wrestled a bit just to mix his offense a bit.
It was proven that McGregor starts the fight dangerous, but as the fight goes on, Poirier gets better. Although McGregor landed heavy shots of his own, it was not able to put Poirier down. Poirier continued chopping the legs, and eventually, McGregor’s legs were battered, and Poirier landed the punches he wanted that led to knocking out McGregor.
Poirier then chased the McGregor trilogy instead of fighting for the vacant title. Who can blame him? Fighting McGregor for the third time gives him his biggest payday. Poirier was winning most of the first round, but at the last second, McGregor suffered an unfortunate leg injury as McGregor’s ankle just gave up when he threw a punch.
Dustin Poirier is set to face Charles Oliveira for the UFC lightweight title next at UFC 269. He is also going in as the favorite despite being the challenger.