Dustin Poirier on Biggest Fights in UFC284: Makhachev vs. Volkanovski and Chandler vs. McGregor

Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier, the UFC’s former interim lightweight champion, recently sat down for an exclusive interview with Bloody Elbow, and ‘The Diamond’ touched on a variety of topics, both conventional and contentious. In this segment of the conversation, we discuss how Islam Makhachev’s victory against Charles Oliveira for the UFC lightweight championship opened the door for a slew of new fighters.

Poirier then predicts the impending UFC 284 fight between Makhachev and the UFC’s featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski, in February. We also ask Dustin whether he has ever contemplated fighting Volkanovski, and we conclude with “The Diamond” weighing in on a prospective fight between Michael Chandler and Conor McGregor.

Mercado, Eddie: So, in the present condition of the UFC’s lightweight division, Islam Makhachev beat Charles Oliveira to win the title. Do you believe Makhachev’s victory brought you one step closer to a championship shot? Dustin Poirier: That’s another one I’d wager on. I would have been defeated. That happened the same night. I would have also lost that one. The champion is a newcomer. It establishes entirely fresh matches for everyone who has competed against Charles for the belt. So that really opens things up.

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Dustin Poirier on Biggest Clashs in UFC

_Chandler vs. McGregor

EM: How would you prepare for Islam Makhachev differently than you would for Khabib Nurmagomedov?

DP: It would most likely be a similar training camp. A lot of wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu. It would be comparable.

EM: Before your Khabib fight, I asked you in Abu-Dhabi whether you’d be prepared to jump a guillotine versus Nurmagomedov if the chance arose, and you said, ‘you need to risk it for the biscuit.’ Sure enough, you jumped the guillotine and got closer to beating Khabib than anybody else. Would you be prepared to leap the guillotine if the same thing occurred to Islam?

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DP: Of course not. Naturally, I would. I most certainly would.

EM: Before that can happen, Makhachev must first defeat the UFC’s featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski. Is Islam about to leave Perth with the belt?

DP: I believe Islam will triumph, but I am not certain. I believe Islam will be larger and rangier than Volkanovski. Because Volkanovski is closer to the ground, shorter, and has a lower base, Islam may struggle to get in deep on typical shots, but he may be able to trip him up or force him against the fence.

Volkanovski used to be a big guy. Years ago, he used to be larger, but fighting at 45 for as long as he has, and then going up and facing Islam, who isn’t a tiny man at 155 pounds. There will undoubtedly be a little discrepancy. It will come down to striking. I don’t believe these men will spend much time on the mat until Islam can get them down and keep them there. And I believe it will be difficult for him to accomplish against Volk.

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EM: Has a bout with Alexander Volkanovski ever piqued your interest? DP: I’ve never given it much consideration. I never sat back and thought about it, and it was never truly a possibility until this fight [Makhachev vs. Volkanovski] was advertised.

EM: Michael Chandler is now advocating for a fight with Conor McGregor, which might happen. They both need victories, both are coming off defeats, and both are compelling fighters. Who do you think will win the matchup?

DP: I’d go with Conor.

EM: Yea? Do you believe he’ll get the knockout? Conor’s timing

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DP: I believe Chandler is really hittable. We’ll see what happens with the layoff as well. This may be a significant element for Conor. But, in this case, I’d still go with Conor. Chandler is a target. Conor is taller than him. Chandler takes a breather. If he wrestles heavily to escape Conor’s hitting, he’ll slow down a little and be more in front of Conor, allowing him to get touched. If the fight does place, I’d bet on Conor. Certainly not! I CAN’T PLAY. I CANNOT BET ON MMA!

EM: That’s correct! Yes, yes, yes! (waves arms back and forth to break up the argument) I’ve had to put it out there.


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