Fight fans are in for a treat this Saturday, as lightweight standouts Dustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez will collide in the UFC on FOX 30 main event at Canada’s Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary.
Their first fight at UFC 211 had all the makings of a classic, with both fighters engaging in a back-and-forth brawl up until Alvarez unintentionally landed a couple of illegal knees to Poirier’s head in the second round. Veteran referee Herb Dean ruled the bout a No Contest (NC), and the rematch has been over one year in the making.
Speaking to Luke Thomas on a recent edition of The MMA Hour, ‘The Diamond’ said he expects the rematch with ‘The Underground King’ to be similar to his Fight of the Night classic with Justin Gaethje, which saw Poirier finish ‘The Highlight’ in the fourth round after a nail-biting opening three rounds.
“I feel like it’s going to be similar,” Poirier said, per MMA Fighting’s Shaun Al-Shatti. “I feel like the Gaethje fight could’ve been as smooth or as tough as I made it, and I think this fight is going to be similar if I stick to my gameplan. If I use clean and crisp striking and I don’t brawl, then it’ll be as smooth as I want it to be. Of course, it’s still a fight, so adversity might present itself. But I’m the better fighter, I believe.
“[Beating Gaethje in the way that I did] gave me reassurance that these guys — guys like Gaethje, guys like Eddie — these guys don’t mentally break,” Poirier added. “They don’t find a way out. They don’t beat themselves. These guys are in there for the long haul. And it just reassures to me that technique and patience [matter]. When your body quits on you, it doesn’t matter how mentally tough you are. All of these guys are tough. And the same thing is going to happen with Eddie. He’s a warrior. He’s a dog. He wants to go out there and fight. His back’s against the wall. He’s in a dangerous spot in his career and he’s going to leave it all out there. And when his body quits on him, there’s nothing he can do about it. That’s the beautiful part about fighting.”
With recent wins over Jim Miller, Anthony Pettis, and Gaethje, Poirier believes adding another former champion to his resume will give him the ammunition he needs for a title shot.
“I’m going to go out there and earn it the hard way: In blood,” Poirier said. “I’m going to earn my title shot. I’m going to earn this win. I’m going to take everything I want, and that’s exactly what’s going to happen.
“Everybody has their own path. Everybody peaks at different times. Nothing in my life was ever easy. Adversity teaches a man a lot about himself. I’m well acquainted with myself, man. I know what’s going on, I know who I am, and this is just fighting. Tune in Saturday, watch me go to work.”
UFC on FOX: Alvarez vs. Poirier 2 takes place this Saturday, July 28 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.