UFC 242: Dustin Poirier promises to become undisputed world champion

Dan Owen 23/07/2019
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Interim UFC lightweight champ Dustin Poirier

UFC lightweight contender Dustin Poirier has pledged to take home the gold when he faces on Khabib Nurmagomedov in Abu Dhabi at UFC 242.

The interim champ takes on the undefeated Nurmagomedov at the Yas Arena and has been chronicling his training camp on social media.

Poirier, a veteran of a 30-fight professional career, 22 of those in the UFC, is undefeated in his last six fights, and has lost only once in his last 11.

Confidence is clearly high in ‘The Diamond’s’ camp with him declaring this week that he will be taking the title home on September 7.

He then doubled down on the claim on Twitter….

Getting philosophical

He’s even been getting a little philosophical about it all, quoting Sun Tzu. If anyone knows about perseverance though, it’s Poirier.

He has suffered a number of setbacks in the UFC – including four defeats – two of which came against fighters Khabib has beaten, Conor McGregor and Michael Johnson.

Written off, the now 30-year-old Diamond has continued to develop and is now at the peak of his powers, and fully deserving of this title shot.

Working the cardio

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Pushing at a Champion's Pace #ufc #champion

A post shared by Dustin Poirier (@dustinpoirier) on

Khabib fights at a relentless, smothering pace, and if Poirier is going to hang with the Dagestan native then his cardio will have to be on point.

If things go to the floor Khabib will be confident of heaping pressure on Poirier with his wrestling. In that position, the worst case scenario for Khabib will be to take some of the wind out of Poirier’s sails, so the American’s gas tank is going to have to be at full capacity.

Keep it on the feet

It goes without saying that Poirier will want to keep this fight standing. Khabib has already commended his opponent on his stand-up game, and this is clearly the best route to victory for the challenger.

While it can be easy in camp to concentrate on Khabib and the dangers of his takedowns and how to quash them, it will also be key for Poirier to hone the weapons that have got him to this level in the first place.

The Eagle sharpens his talons 

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Focus on goal. #ufc242

A post shared by Khabib Nurmagomedov (@khabib_nurmagomedov) on

Khabib is a fighting machine. Drilled and hardened, his focus on September 7 remains unwavering.

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UFC San Antonio: Leon Edwards calls out Jorge Masvidal after RDA win

Dan Owen 21/07/2019
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Leon Edwards added to his winning streak in Texas

Leon Edwards wasted no time in calling out Jorge Masvidal following an impressive showing against Rafael dos Anjos at UFC: San Antonio.

The Brit scored a convincing unanimous decision win on the scorecards (50-45, 49—46, 49-46) over the Brazilian.

Edwards (18-3) now has the second longest winning streak in the UFC’s welterweight division, behind champ Kamaru Usman,  and will improve on his 12th place in the rankings.

Dos Anjos, fourth ranked in the division going into the fight, falls to 27-12.

Edwards looked comfortable for long periods against the former lightweight champ, regularly finding a home for his straight left, and short elbows.

It was an elbow that threatened the contest in the second round with Edwards finding his target flush on the right eyebrow of dos Anjos opening up a nasty wound that quickly bled heavily. It was inspected by the doctor at the start of the third, and given the green light.

While Edwards was unable to capitalize and finish the fight, he still picked up a comfortable win.

‘Rocky’ immediately turned his attention to Jorge Masvidal. The pair had a highly publicised backstage altercation following UFC: London earlier this year and Edwards is keen to seek retribution.

Masvidal, hot on the back of his record-breaking win over Ben Askren, responded to the call-out saying on Twitter that he had been promised a title shot and wouldn’t be entertaining anything else until then.

Elsewhere, Walt Harris picked up the biggest win of his career with a first round knockout of Alexey Oleynik. A big knee was followed up by a huge left hand to end things after just 12 seconds of the opening round.

It didn’t take Greg Hardy too much longer to dispose of Juan Adams. In the battle of the heavyweight prospects, it was Hardy who won inside 25 seconds of the first round by TKO following a number of unanswered shots on the ground.

Kiwi Dan Hooker picked up a huge win of his own when he turned the lights out on James Vick, Alexander Hernandez outlasted veteran Francisco Trinaldo to grab a unanimous decision, while former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski outpointed Ben Rothwell.

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UFC Fight Night 155: Stunning wins for Germaine de Randamie and Urijah Faber

Dan Owen 14/07/2019
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Urijah Faber

Germaine de Randamie and a returning Urijah Faber both scored stunning first round wins at UFC Fight Night 155.

It was a controversial win for the former women’s featherweight champ, now fighting at 135lbs, somewhat in keeping to the build up of her fight with previously undefeated Aspen Ladd.

American 24-year-old Ladd had looked visibly in pain and very uneasy on her feet during the weigh ins, but was cleared to fight. However, her night was over in just sixteen seconds after what has been called an early stoppage by some, following a stiff right hand from De Randamie that knocked her off her feet in the opening exchanges.

The blow appeared to land on the chest of Ladd, but when she ended up in an awkward position on the ground and referee Herb Dean was quick to step in.

The win puts the Dutchwoman in line for a crack at 135 and 145lb queen Amanda Nunes, while Ladd goes back to the drawing board with the first blemish on her nine-fight record.

Post fight, De Randamie refused to be drawn on the next steps for her, but defended the stoppage – the tied quickest in women’s bantamweight history.

For Faber, it was a return to the Octogon for the first time since 2016, and few of his 44 previous fights will have been as spectacular.

Stepping out of retirement to face the fancied Ricky Simon, a man 14 years his junior, The California Kid took just 46 seconds to drop his foe with a booming right hand up against the cage.

The defeat ended an eight-fight win-streak for Simon, and while this may not be the start of a renaissance for Faber, it certainly adds to his legacy to come back and win in such fashion at 40-years-of-age.

Elsewhere on the card there were notable wins for Josh Emmett, Andre Fili, Julianna Pena, and Ryan Hall.

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