UFC – Mike Brown: Dustin Poirier Is The Uncrowned Champion
Dustin Poirier earned the biggest win of his career last weekend by stopping Conor McGregor via a second round TKO in the UFC 257 main event.
Poirier used his wrestling and clinch to try and tire McGregor out in the first round, then upping the ante in the second round with several brutal calf kicks, before finishing his opponent with punches.
Things Went As Planned
For McGregor, it was a bad night at the office, but things went according to plan for Poirier. Speaking to MMA Fighting, his head coach Mike Brown shared his thoughts on the fight.
“It really went how we wanted it mostly,” Brown said. “We thought we should kick and wrestle early and then box in later rounds once the pop is gone off Conor’s punches. The plan was to wrestle and kickbox early, use his length, use his kicks early and we figured in the third round or so is when we planned to start boxing, but we didn’t get to that point. He was landing shots before that.
“We also knew or felt that Dustin could win a lot of ways. There’s a lot of different ways he could have done it. We didn’t know if it was going to happen. I mean he’s got the power also to hurt guys, to knock them out early. So we knew he could get an early knockout. We knew he had the ability to damage him with the calf kick. We know he had the ability to catch him in a [submission], he’s got very good subs. We knew he had the possibility of winning by decision. We knew he could win in many ways. Conor has his ways, too. We knew there were also ways to lose the fight. We felt that we had more ways to win.”
McGregor Rematch Or UFC Gold
McGregor wants an immediate trilogy fight with the Louisiana native, who is also open to the idea. However, Brown revealed that Poirier’s priority is to become the undisputed UFC lightweight champion.
“I think it all depends on what Dustin wants,” Brown noted. “Obviously it was big. It was the second biggest pay-per-view of all time. That’s certainly a reason. They are split one-one, so it does make sense in some ways.
“But really what Dustin is fighting for is to be the world champion. I think he wants to take time, relax, enjoy his family and not think about anything right now and just enjoy it. But I know really what he wants more than anything else is to have that undisputed world champion title to his name.”
“He’s The Guy”
With Khabib Nurmagomedov announcing his retirement after successfully defending his title against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254, many believed that the UFC 257 main event should have been for the undisputed title. Although that didn’t happen, Brown believes Poirier is still the top guy in the division right now, with or without the belt.
“It was tough because that really, with Khabib retired, that should have been a title fight,” Brown said. “I feel like we’re in a similar situation with Yves Edwards years ago. He was the uncrowned champion when they kind of got rid of the title and the division was in limbo and he fought Josh Thomson. That legitimately should have been for the vacant lightweight title, and he won that fight and looked great. He doesn’t officially have that to his title, UFC champion.
“But I think a lot of people feel that way with Dustin. I think a high percentage of the experts and the other athletes, he’s the guy. He was the number one guy going into that, he was the number one contender. Conor was the former two-division champion, definitely a fighter worthy of that fight. Biggest draw in the sport ever. That really should have been a title fight.”
Since moving up to lightweight, Poirier has piled up wins against some of the best fighters in the game, including Eddie Alvarez, Max Holloway, Justin Gaethje, and now McGregor. Brown believes that the 32 year old is the division’s ‘uncrowned champion’, and his resume speaks for itself.
“It kind of feels like he’s the uncrowned champion,” Brown shared. “His resume is unbelievable. Look at how many former champions he’s beaten and in this last stretch of fights. It’s an unbelievably tough schedule that he’s had. He beat Gaethje, former world champion. [Anthony] Pettis, former world champion. Eddie, former world champion. Conor, two-division world champion. Max Holloway was the current featherweight champion.
“This is just back-to-back-to-back. It’s an incredible stretch over very tough opponents. He feels like he’s in that position as the uncrowned champion.”
Do you see Dustin Poirier as the uncrowned UFC lightweight champion, after his win over Conor McGregor?