Dustin Poirier Answers If Justin Gaethje Has A Chance Of Beating Islam Makhachev

Dustin Poirier Answers If Justin Gaethje Has A Chance Of Beating Islam Makhachev

Dustin Poirier has accomplished an incredible amount during his career in mixed martial arts, but the one achievement that has alluded him to date is an undisputed UFC championship.

After two failed attempts against Khabib Nurmagomedov and Charles Oliveira, “The Diamond” had an opportunity to seemingly secure a third crack at reaching the throne against fellow former interim titleholder Justin Gaethje this past weekend.

Like the Louisianan, Gaethje has previously failed to unseat both “The Eagle” and “Do Bronx.” The pair collided in the UFC 291 main event in Utah looking to keep their title aspirations alive.

Ultimately, it was “The Highlight” who did just that courtesy of a thunderous head kick KO of Poirier inside the Delta Center. With the ceremonial BMF strap in his possession, Gaethje outlined his intentions to await a shot at his division’s belt next.

With that, the Arizona native will be keeping a close eye on the UFC 294 main event in October, which will see reigning kingpin Islam Makhachev run it back with Charles Oliveira.

Given his success against the Brazilian last year, the Dagestani is being widely favored to retain the gold later this year in Abu Dhabi.

If he does so, however, Poirier has noted that a tough test will await him.

Poirier: If Gaethje Catches Makhachev, He Will ‘Go Down’

During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, the #3-ranked lightweight contender assessed the next step for his victorious opponent, which could well see him challenge the protégé of the pair’s former opponent, Khabib.

Although some expect the Russian to repeat the feat his mentor achieved against Gaethje back in 2020, “The Diamond” thinks the newly crowned BMF champ has what it takes to pull off an upset.

“He has the wrestling credentials, you know? If his takedown defense holds up, I do think he can cause some problems for Islam,” Poirier said. “He punches hard. I felt it through my guard. He hit me with two body shots, straight punches; didn’t hurt any organs… but I felt the power. His bones are dense and he punches hard. He throws everything into it… There was a punch in there that I think if I didn’t turn my head, it would’ve stopped me. I just feel the heat off those things, man, he throws hard.

“If he catches Islam — if he stops Islam from taking down and he throws those kinda punches and they land, he (Makhachev) will go down,” Poirier continued. “That’s the kind of puncher Gaethje is. So it just comes down to his wrestling defense, if it holds up.”

Of course, before seeing if Poirier’s assessment is correct, Makhachev must first repeat his victory over Oliveira when the pair return to Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Arena for their second dance on October 21.

Should the Dagestani successfully do so, it stands to reason that a certain ‘BMF’ will be waiting in the wings…

  • Read Also: Daniel Cormier Addresses Dustin Poirier After Retirement Rumors Surface Following Tough UFC 291 Loss

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