Dustin Poirier is confident that he can achieve victory in the UFC 242 main-event no matter where the fight ends up taking place.
Speaking in a recent interview with MMA Junkie, The Diamond surprisingly stated his belief that submitting Khabib would not be outside of the realms of possibility.
Though no doubt a skilled grappler himself, many would have pointed to the standing exchanges as the area where Poirier would be expected to have the most success and yet, when pushed for a prediction, he was not afraid to predict the tap from the unbeaten Russian.
“I keep going back and forth. I feel like I can submit Khabib, but feel like I’m going to stop him. I don’t know how it’s going to happen, but I’m either going to knock him out or I’m going to submit him. I’m going to finish Khabib Nurmagomedov.”
Of course, the gameplan for Dustin will be one that revolves around keeping the fight standing and even with his somewhat surprising prediction in mind, he remains wary of Nurmagomedov’s skills in the top position.
“Of course, it’s a huge danger. I don’t want this guy to get on top of me and start pulling away with rounds. We only have five of them. If you let a guy lay on you for three, you need a finish. That’s not what I’m trying to do in there.
“I’m not worried about his takedowns so much. I need to hurt this guy. That’s a huge part of this training camp. Putting myself in good positions to win the rounds and win the fight. Staying off the fence. Getting up off the ground. But, at the same time, I need to do what I do.”
“I have the opportunity to make history and do something that’s never been done. I’m embracing that … I’m just excited that I put myself in this position and that I have an opportunity to show the world how great I am on the biggest scale possible and unify these belts. Make history – that’s what this is about.”