Dustin Poirier doesn’t imagine Dan Hooker is getting his correct due forward of Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 12 fundamental occasion.

Poirier (25-6 MMA, 17-5 UFC) is presently the betting favourite to beat Hooker (20-Eight MMA, 10-Four UFC) within the light-weight headliner, which takes place at UFC Apex in Las Vegas and airs on ESPN/ESPN+. He stated he’s seen plenty of dialogue that he’s going to win in decisive style, and though that’s totally his intention, he isn’t keen on the narrative.

“I don’t like that, actually,” Poirier instructed MMA Junkie. “This man is harmful. This man is a high opponent a top-five ranked fighter within the UFC for a purpose. I don’t look previous anyone. This man is the one factor I’m centered on proper now. 25 minutes with Hooker and we’ll see what occurs. I don’t like the truth that followers and stuff are simply passing him over as a result of it is a harmful man I’ve been making ready very critically for.”

The roles have been reversed going into Poirier’s earlier combat, which was a light-weight title unification bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242 in September. Poirier was the sizable underdog going into that combat (which he misplaced by submission), so he’s skilled either side of the coin. Of the 2, he stated he finds this much less preferable.

Poirier, No. Four within the newest USA TODAY Sports activities/MMA Junkie MMA light-weight rankings, stated he totally understands the state of affairs he’s in going into on combat night time. No. 7-ranked Hooker is trying to catapult himself to the highest of the division at his expense, and it’s Poirier’s job to forestall that from taking place.

The general purpose for Poirier is to climb again to the place he was in going into the Nurmagomedov combat. He’s had greater than 9 months to determine how to do this, which included restoration stint following a lengthy overdue hip surgical procedure that occurred in October.

Poirier stated the break in the end proved helpful, although, as a result of he’d needed to overcome some ordeals he hadn’t encountered beforehand in his profession.

“I’ve at all times simply submerged myself in work after I’ve misplaced earlier than and simply drowned all the pieces out with laborious work,” Poirier stated. “This specific loss was the largest lack of my profession and in addition I needed to get sidelined. I couldn’t simply soar again within the fitness center and drown all the pieces out. I needed to assume and sit on the sofa and simply watch everyone else combat. So it was extra of only a psychological coaching. I really feel mentally stronger.”

For Poirier, Saturday’s combat is an all-business affair. He’s not serious about the potential stakes of the competition, neither is he paying a lot thoughts to Hooker’s speak. Others will not be, however “The Diamond” stated he’s giving this contest the respect it deserves and intends to be at his greatest when he steps within the octagon.

“I’m resistant to (trash speak) lately,” Poirier stated. “I see some stuff on Twitter each time MMA media pushes it out as a headline or one thing, however aside from that I don’t look into it or learn an excessive amount of into it. However he’s doing what he’s imagined to do. He higher be saying all that stuff. He must imagine all that stuff too, as a result of subsequent weekend, we gonna discover out.”



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