clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

With brutal weight cuts behind him, Dustin Poirier poised for a run at the lightweight title

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Weight cutting is one of the cruelest parts of being a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter.

The ability to weigh a certain amount, while still having enough muscle mass to compete physically, can be daunting. Some fighters tend to lose 10-15 pounds in a matter of a few days. Eventually, that can catch up to any fighter, regardless of age.

Dustin Poirier is only 26 years old and has already made the monumental decision to move up a weight class.

After his demoralizing defeat to Conor McGregor, a possible change was imminent for the American Top Team (ATT) standout. McGregor has proven to be unstoppable so far in his UFC career. That didn't mask Poirier's doubts about continuing to struggle to make 146 pounds as a featherweight.

"It really affected me," Poirier told FOX Sports about the cut to get down to featherweight. "Not only mentally, but just being calorie-depleted and pretty much having to starve myself for months, not really feeding my body. We break our bodies down all week, and we don't get to refuel and recover like our bodies should be."

Poirier admitted to walking around at 160 pounds during fight week, while still feeling ill effects from it. That isn't a sustainable method towards becoming a champion, yet he still holds the record for most finishes in the featherweight division.

That record didn't translate into winning title eliminator fights, as McGregor and Chan Sung Jung defeated him.

The move to lightweight became official for UFC Fight Night 63 in Fairfax, Virginia. His debut as a lightweight couldn't have been more emphatic by finishing Carlos Diego Ferreira in the first round. Poirier's sound boxing was on display through landing his straight left on a consistent basis. That flustered Ferreira instantly and left him helpless against someone who looked completely reinvigorated in a new division.

There are still plenty of questions about Poirier's future.

His tendency to take damage is concerning in a bigger division. In his past victories over Diego Brandao and Akira Corassani, Poirier was knocked down in both bouts. It was promising to hear in his last post-fight interview about fighting more technical. That will be essential for him to become a contender in such a talented division.

The possibility of engaging in a wild slugfest against a powerful striker like Ross Pearson could prove to be a colossal mistake.

Yancy Medeiros was Poirier's next victim at UFC Fight Night 68 in New Orleans, Louisiana. It took less than 30 seconds for Poirier to land his patented straight left before mixing in some uppercuts. A liver kick put the finishing touch for another vicious victory (video replay).

After being on the receiving end of a vicious knockout from one of the UFC's biggest stars, Poirier has found clarity in his career.

The combination of fighting at his proper weight class and having a more patient fighting approach should do wonders for him. When you thought the lightweight division couldn't be more action packed, another "Diamond" in the rough has been unveiled.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania