Dustin Poirier on promise to knock out Max Holloway at UFC 236: 'There's no love in there'
ATLANTA – Dustin Poirier has been calm and respectful in the lead-up to UFC 236, but after making weight this morning for tomorrow’s interim lightweight title headliner, he made the boisterous statement that he was going to knock out Max Holloway.
After going through a long training camp, Poirier (24-5 MMA, 16-4 UFC) said he couldn’t feel more prepared to win the interim 155-pound belt at UFC 236. Making weight made the fight official, and at that point “The Diamond” felt ready to voice his visions on the fight with Holloway (20-3 MMA, 16-3 UFC).
“It’s just how I’m feeling,” Poirier told MMA Junkie following UFC 236 ceremonial weigh-ins. “I said what I said. I do have a lot of respect for Max. He’s a great champion, a good guy. But I’ve been working too hard and worked through too much and sacrificed and overcome so many things that tomorrow night I just can’t let him have it. This is my night. There’s no love in there.”
UFC 236 takes place Saturday at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. Poirier vs. Holloway headlines the pay-per-view main card following prelims on ESPN and UFC Fight Pass.
Poirier said he feels like he’s the underdog going into the matchup against the featherweight champion Holloway, who is moving up to lightweight for the bout. That’s despite the fact he already owns a win over “Blessed,” who he stopped by first-round submission in the Hawaiian’s octagon debut at UFC 143 in February 2012.
After stating he would knock Holloway out on Saturday, Poirier also said he’s going to “shock the world.” That statement was questioned by some due to the fact he already owns a win over his upcoming opponent, but Poirier said he truly sees himself as the underdog.
“I feel like as of lately I’ve heard people say this is an easy fight for Max – just a lot of stuff like that,” Poirier said. “The oddsmakers have it like that, not that I even care or play into that stuff. But it’s just I’m going to shock the world.”
If Poirier can pull off the victory at UFC 236 he would position himself for a title unification bout with champ Khabib Nurmagomedov (27-0 MMA, 11-0 UFC). There’s also the potential Conor McGregor (21-4 MMA, 9-2 UFC) could re-enter the lightweight title equation at some point, but Poirier said he’s not thinking about anything that could come beyond fight night, because he still has to get the job done.
“Tomorrow night, this a piece of the world championship,” Poirier said. “I want the whole thing. But none of that is even a reality until tomorrow night happens, so I can’t even talk about it.”