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Who is Conor McGregor's opponent Dustin Poirier?

All you need to know about the man who goes head-to-head with ‘The Notorious’ this weekend.

Dustin Poirier Source: DARRYL DYCK

IN THE EARLY hours of Sunday morning, Ireland’s Conor McGregor steps into the Octagon for his fourth UFC fight when he meets Dust Poirier at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The Dubliner may have branded his opponent a “quiet little hillbilly” with a “pea-head” from “the back arse of nowhere” but the 25-year-old has a lot more going for him than those insults suggest.

So, who is this guy?

Originally from Lafayette, Louisiana, Poirier was an extremely competitive child who got into his fair share of brawls growing up. “My father was a fighter,” he says. “My grandfather was a fighter. It’s just in my blood.”

Initially, he wanted to be a boxer but training for that saw him introduced to wrestling, Judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Poirier’s early steps in MMA featured in the critically-acclaimed documentary Fightville (you can find it on Netflix) as the ambitious young featherweight climbed the ranks in regional promotions — earning a 7-0 unbeaten record in his first seven professional fights.

Back in January 2011, current champion Jose Aldo was due to meet Josh Grispi in his first title defence but when he pulled out with a compacted vertebrae, Poirier stepped in to make his UFC debut.

Few were backing against number one contender Grispi that night but it was the new kid on the block Poirier who came away with the win by unanimous decision.

Is he any good?

Yes. Having clocked up ten fights in under four years, the man nicknamed ‘The Diamond’ holds a record of eight wins and two losses inside the Octagon. The victories have come against the likes of Max Holloway, Diego Brandao (two fighters who those following McGregor’s career will know well) and most recently Akira Corassani, while Cub Swanson and Chan Sung Jung have handed Poirier his two defeats to date.

He is seen as the underdog by the bookies (9/4 to win, while McGregor is 1/3) but the man ranked fifth in the division is sure to give the Dubliner a greater contest than his previous three opponents.

What’s his fighting style?

UFC 143 Poirier trades punches with Max Holloway. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Standing at 5’9”, Poirier is an accomplished boxer with a powerful punch. His last two wins, against Corassani and Brandao, came thanks to knockouts through a series of blows. In addition, he also possesses a black belt in BJJ and has no problem going to ground and winning by submission (see fights v Holloway, Brookins and Jung).

What has he been saying?

In the run-up to Saturday’s showdown, Poirier has explained how he is tired of McGregor’s trash-talking.

“Conor McGregor seems like a good athlete, he seems like a good counter-puncher,” Poirier said. “But he also seems like a scumbag.”

“He’s full of himself and I’m sure he has a lot of people around him telling him how good he is. For me looking at him, I see an immature guy who doesn’t understand the whole game yet.

“He is riding a really big wave and has a lot of momentum but he is about to get knocked off of it. I walk the walk, Conor talks the talk. We’ll see if he’s really about it 27 September.”

Watch highlights of Poirier’s fights below:

Source: ortiz567/YouTube

 

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About the author:

Ben Blake

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