Dustin Poirier questions the longevity of Justin Gaethje’s MMA career.
Justin Gaethje comes at you at 100 mph and doesn’t let up. But does the top-eight ranked UFC lightweight contender have enough gas in the tank to climb the championship ladder, or has he already accumulated too much mileage over the course of his frenetic career?
Surging lightweight contender Dustin Poirier, who collides with Gaethje in this Saturday’s UFC on FOX 29 main event, believes his opponent is setting himself up for an early retirement if he doesn’t add some strategy to his game.
‘The Diamond’ admires Gaethje’s balls to the wall fighting style but thinks the Arizona native would be wise to switch things up once in a while and adopt a more conservative approach.
“It’s not (a sustainable style), and I said that when he was with World Series of Fighting,” Poirier said in a recent interview with MMA Fighting’s Shaun Al-Shatti. “I’m good friends with (ATT coach) Mike Brown, who’s also an MMA mastermind. He understands fighting and understands styles and matchup, and I’ve told him that before, that this guy is going to have to switch his fighting style or he’s going to have a short career. He’s going to have a bunch of fun paydays and a bunch of memorable fights, but it’s not going to last. Once it starts going downhill, it’s going to go down fast for him, fighting like that. Of course he’s going to catch guys here and there, win some bonuses, and like I said, have some great fights that people are going to remember. And it seems like that’s what he’s fighting for. He loves that, and that’s awesome.”
Poirier is no stranger to adrenaline-packed brawls himself, but the 29-year-old talent is a little more strategic in the Octagon and expects to fight for the UFC lightweight title in the near future.
“But I want to be a world champion, man,” he continued. “And I want that to be a byproduct of me fighting at my best. I’m not going out there looking to see who’s willing to lose more blood, because I’ll die out there. I know I would, but I don’t want that. I want to go in there and have smooth fight and show my skill.”
The Louisianan believes he is the more complete fighter and plans to outclass ‘The Highlight’ this weekend.
“I’m a complete fighter and I’m not scared, I’m very willing to use every part of the game to get the win by any means necessary,” Poirier said. And I’m going to outclass him everywhere. I’m going to make him look like an amateur out there.”
UFC on FOX: Poirier vs. Gaethje takes place this Saturday, April 14 at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.