Dustin Poirier will face his greatest test to date in the form of the dominant featherweight champion Max Holloway at UFC 236 this weekend.
Poirier, of course, holds a submission win over Max from back in 2012 – a fight that displayed two very different fighters at two very different points in their careers.
In the time since, each man has evolved their skillset tremendously – taking their talents to their prime years with a newfound flair that has seen them both defeat divisional standouts and champions on their way to UFC 236.
Speaking in a recent interview with MMAJunkie, American Top Team’s Mike Brown outlined where he believes his fighter will be able to get the better of the 145lb king.
“Everybody who has beat Max has put him on the floor at least once. That probably wouldn’t be a bad idea. But Dustin’s game is to come forward and to crack you. He hits hard with both hands, and it doesn’t go away. He can hit just as hard in the fifth as he can in the first.
“We’ve always known that he was going to be a monster in five-rounders. We couldn’t wait for him to start getting main-events and five-rounders. That’s where he’s really going to excel, and it’s showing.”
Poirier seems like a fighter reborn since making the switch to 155lbs – one of the most prominent examples in recent memory of someone truly reaching their potential once they forego an arduous weight-cut and compete closer to their natural weight.
It’s important to note that we may well see the very best Max Holloway we have ever witnessed once he steps up to lightweight.
Poirier and his team are no doubt aware of that but Brown made it clear that he believes that ‘The Diamond’ will prevail over five-rounds as a result of his endurance.
“I think he beats him with pressure. I think he beats him with superior punching power and pressure.
“He hits hard with both hands, kicks hard with both legs, his gas tank is as good as it gets, and he knows how to use it.
“He can pressure anybody and take anybody out.”
When you’re faced with a pair of fighters who boast durability and pace as these guys do, there’s every chance the resulting affair will be a masterpiece in violence.
Both men have something of a penchant for a brawl while each retaining a level of finesse and technique while doing so.
Chances are we are in for a good one, folks!
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena