Dustin Poirier entered the UFC as a featherweight back in January of 2011, and spent nearly four years in the division before deciding to move back to lightweight. With two straight wins at 155 lbs, and a headlining booking this weekend at UFC Fight Night 76 in Dublin, Poirier now thinks it’s crazy he ever made the cut to begin with.
“I’ve been dieting for months and training hard for months and just getting down to be around 170 pounds, that’s crazy compared to what I used to have to do to get down to 145,” Poirier said in an interview with FoxSports.com. “My last fight when I fought in New Orleans after the weight cut when I was down to 156 pounds, before weigh-ins, I was telling my corner men I was like ‘there’s no way I could cut another 10 pounds, it’s impossible.’ It’s so crazy I even did it.
“There’s no comparison. I’m still eating good, my body’s recovering because of that. I’m having fun throughout camp. I don’t feel like I’m too depleted or strained. Previously, if I was this close to a fight I’d be hurting already cutting weight. I feel great. I’m more athletic at this weight and this is much closer to my actual weight. My body is just performing very well. I should have been here, this is the optimal weight class for my body to perform at its max. My power, my speed, everything feels better.”
Unsurprisingly, Poirier says the move up in weight is permanent for him, and he won’t ever be attempting the cut back down to featherweight again.
“I’m never going to go down to 145 [lbs] again,” Poirier said. “I don’t see myself ever going up to 170 [lbs]. I should be able to maintain fighting at 155 [lbs] for the rest of my career. This is the weight I’m going to be at permanently. This is the division I’m going to win the belt at.”
Penick’s Analysis: There’s no question Poirier’s looked good at lightweight so far. He had a great 155 lb. return against Carlos Diego Ferreira, and looked even better against Yancy Medeiros. If he takes out Joseph Duffy in front of Duffy’s home country crowd on Saturday, that’s another significant move in the right direction for him. The cut may have been taking something too much out of him at featherweight, and it absolutely could have played a part in some of his lesser performances in the featherweight division. If he proves his best is yet to come, perhaps that title run is still in him. He believes it to be, and he needs to win on Saturday in Dublin in order to keep that dream alive.