Even for a man who has been in countless caged classics, Dustin Poirier seemed to marvel at his last war in five rounds.
How else to react to one of the most drunken light fights of recent times? Poirier and Max Holloway clashed Saturday night at UFC 236 in Atlanta to determine who would become the new interim lightweight champion. What appeared to be an early eruption for Pear tree was turned into a clash between two men who saw both men eating blows and asking for more.
Poirier again triumphed, this time by unanimous decision, and at the post-fight press conference of the evening, he described in detail the unfolding of the fight from his point of view.
"I was throwing a lot of powerful shots – every punch was almost a powerful shot – and I fought a bit more than I wanted to, but when you fight a guy who throws a volume like that and you try to do it match and disrupt his timing, I knew that the workload was going to be huge, "said Poirier. "I knew we had to mentally participate in this fight, we had prepared ourselves at the gym and I knew it would be an explosive match."
Besides the cornucopia of fists and feet, knees and elbows served, Poirier also found time to exchange words with Holloway's fight, although he explained that this It was nothing personal.
"One time, I was bleeding from my mouth and spitting on it, he said, as he knew that I had done it by accident, I did not aim at it, but that was 39 may have touched, "said Poirier. "Dude, it's a fight, you could have spit on you. When I hit him with a good shot, he said, "That was good" or applauded.
"When I knelt him in the face, before he bleed, when he raised his head to the knee, I saw the wound and I said," Gotcha. " It was just – it was a battle. "
Poirier focused on the mental aspects of the fight and his ability to overcome doubt, a key element in the third and fourth rounds, as Holloway's fighting spirit would lead him to a new victory.
But Poirier was able to defeat the pain and fatigue, silence the growing doubts in his brain, and he continued to match Holloway even as the volume was increased in the championship rounds. Nicknamed "The Diamond", Poirier knows how to resist resilience, but he was impressed by Holloway's tenacity. He stated that only Justin Gaethje and Holloway had let him feel that his hands would be swollen and painful the next day.
In regards to the adjustments, Poirier said that he had to stop wasting energy and trying to deal with Holloway 's brutal aggression. Once he was able to determine the timing of Holloway, it allowed him to restore his own pace and take the final turn.
"I think I did [an adjustment] towards the end of the fight, "said Poirier. "I realized I was wasting a lot of energy and fighting a lot more than I needed. So I just put myself behind my jab and I started to throw my cross a little more straight, I tried to pump the jab. He started using less head movements towards the end of the fight and the jab found his home very easy.
"He's a little tricky. His speed and timing, his pace that he uses are a little different. He will loop the body, throwing slowly with a quick cross behind his body. This prevents you. Many of his shots did not land, but the cross did. The guy is a good attacker. "
The more difficult the task of defeating Holloway, the greater the appreciation of the struggle by Poirier. He has been in deep waters with warriors like Gaethje, Eddie Alvarez, Anthony Pettis and now Holloway, and the way he explains it looks nothing like this experience.
"That's what fighting is for me," said Poirier. "It's the purest feeling to beat me. I'm hurt, I've burst, he's been hurt, he's bursting, we're both digging, who wants it more?
"This fight is an addiction, I'm afraid. It's a very strange thing. "
And although Poirier and Holloway are at the center of their superhuman efforts, the new Interim Lightweight Champion wanted to give some glory to his support cast to be at his side at every step.
In particular, he distinguished his wife Jolie and how, if it was not for her, he might have abandoned his dreams a long time ago.
"She's been with me since the first fight," said Poirier. "The road was long and, as I said before, she believed in me when I was ready to stop fighting and I would not be here with this belt if it was not for she. It's just as much his, all this journey, and I just enjoy sharing it with her.
"And I've been saying it for a week to her, my management, my team, that, according to Teddy Atlas, I knew I had 25 minutes to make life fair tonight. Nothing mattered. When I was forgotten, knocked out, abandoned fighting and had to go back up. Nothing counted just 25 minutes tonight to make life more fair and become a world champion and that 's all that mattered, it was to stay up for 25 minutes and my wife knew that I was going there and I was ready to leave some of it. of myself over there, and I was, and I could have. "