21-year old UFC featherweight fighter Dustin Poirier was one of the few people to benefit from UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo’s bout-canceling neck injury. Aldo was set to defend his featherweight strap against Josh Grispi at UFC 125 this January 1st, but was forced out of the bout and replaced by Poirier. Though Poirier and Grispi will take a backseat on the undercard of UFC 125, “The Diamond” is eager to have the chance to make his name off of a title contender in Grispi.
Poirier recently spoke with Sherdog.com about the opportunity and about how he feels now, less than a week away from the fight.
“I’m more ready for this fight than I have been for any other fight in my life. Naturally I’m a little nervous, but I’m more anxious then anything,” Poirier said. “I know a lot of people are counting me out, but that’s because they don’t know who I am. I’m mentally strong, and the key for me is that I know who I am.”
Poirier made his WEC debut in August of this year, losing a decision to Danny Castillo, but the Louisiana-stationed fighter made a quick turnaround and defeated Zach Micklewright two WEC events later in November. Poirier told Sherdog that he didn’t hesitate to take the fight, as he saw it as a great chance for him to improve his station in what is now the UFC featherweight division.
“I actually got the call two weeks after I had just fought at WEC 52. I’m a gym rat, so of course I was training when I got the call from my manager,” said Poirier. “He asked me if I wanted the fight, and I [thought] it was a great opportunity for me to make a name for myself in the featherweight division.”
“The Diamond” believes he received the opportunity to take on Grispi as a result of his hard work and dedication to the sport of mixed martial arts and he does not intend on letting such an opportunity pass him by.
“I’m a hard worker, and I knew it would happen, but not this soon. I believe that everything happens for a reason,” he said. “These kind of opportunities don’t come to people waiting on them; they come to people doing the right things, not only in the gym but [in] the way [they] live. This isn’t by chance. This is my destiny, and history will remember me.”
Poirier holds a professional record of 8-1, having scored five wins by TKO and three by submission; his lone loss came against Castillo by unanimous decision.