UFC: Dustin Poirier Is Confident He Would Beat Tony Ferguson
Dustin Poirier was one of several top-notch fighters to put his name ‘in the bag’ for the main event at UFC 249. The scheduled main event between UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson looks almost certain to be scrapped for the record fifth time, after the champ said he was stuck in Russia as a result of the travel ban brought in as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Poirier let Dana White and the UFC know that he was willing to step in on short notice to fight Ferguson.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani during an Instagram live for ESPN, Poirier revealed that he had texted the UFC boss, “I’m open”. However, he was told to continue preparing for Dan Hooker, his scheduled opponent.
Although he doesn’t believe the bout will go according to plan in the UFC San Diego main event on May 16th.
“I don’t think so,” Poirier said. “I really don’t. I don’t have that feeling.”
Although the UFC has cancelled the three events leading up to UFC 249, the promotion has not confirmed any cancellations post-UFC 249. This puts Poirier, among every other UFC fighter, in a position of uncertainty. He is still preparing for his fight, however.
“Honestly, there’s no way to properly prepare. I have my own personal gym here in Louisiana, and I can go hit the bags. I have two buddies who I train with there that are social-distancing themselves, as well, so I kind of trust them to not bring the fungus among us in my gym, but other than that, I’m there hitting the bag or rolling with those guys or I’m in my house.
“I can jog and stuff, I can get in shape, but to be fine-tuned for a fight at the highest level, I can’t do it. I don’t know what my opponent is doing, if he’s not being able to train. So May seems like a push, but we’ll see.”
Even though Poirier respects Hooker, he is aware guys like Ferguson don’t come too often.
“In the midst of what was happening (Monday), an opportunity like that, of course I’m 100 percent jumping on,” he said. “No disrespect to Dan Hooker, but guys like him are going to be around. Opportunities like that are going to be there, always for the rest of my career, up-and-coming good guys, will be around.”
‘The Diamond’ is super confident in his chances against Ferguson, but would face anybody on the card. Justin Gaethje, a heavily rumored replacement, has already lost to Poirier in 2018.
“Anybody, I’ll fight anybody [on 249]. I think I beat up Tony, man, I really do,” Poirier said. “The Gaethje fight as well, I’d do a rematch with him.”
Poirier last competed against the UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242, losing via a rear-naked choke in the third round. Prior to this loss, Dustin beat three former champions and a top contender in Gaethje.
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