The build-up to Oliveira vs. Poirier
Are you ready for some real fight? It’s the lightweight championship fight as Dustin Poirier challenges Charles Oliveira, and the astonishing thing is that they will face each other for the first time.
It’s a chance for Poirier to get a hand back on the UFC lightweight championship, which he claimed the interim in 2019 when he defeated Max Holloway by a unanimous decision after five rounds. After then, he eventually fought against the undefeated and undisputed UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, but he was well beaten by the Russian.
Now, it’s a chance for Poirier to have another shot at the UFC lightweight championship, but he has to go past the current lightweight champion Charles Oliveira.
How did Oliveira and Poirier get here?
Charles Oliveira has been making waves in the UFC since he made his debut in 2010. The Brazilian has held some amazing records in the entire UFC since then. Oliveira has 14 submission wins, the highest by any fighter in the history of UFC. The 32-year-old also holds the record of most finishes in the UFC with 17. By finishes, we mean he has the highest number of times he has beaten his opponents before time. So Poirier will have to be really wary of him when he comes up against him.
However, the funny thing is that Poirier ranks higher than Oliveira in pound-for-pound. While Poirier stands 5th, Oliveira is 8th. One thing is sure, and that’s the fact that it will surely be a tough encounter. If you check each of their records, you will find out how tough this fight could be.
Oliveira started his professional MMA career in Brazil in 2007, where he began as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter. He had a 12-0 record back then, including six knockouts and five submissions. However, there were nights he compiled multiple wins- this happened three times.
The 32-year-old didn’t make his debut at the Welterweight Grand Prix event until March 2008 at the Predator FC 9. Since then, he has always been known as a versatile fighter who could take on as many opponents a night as possible.
This gave him a headway into UFC, making his debut in 2010. He immediately got the submission of the night award after defeating his first UFC opponent, Darren Elkins, within 41 seconds of the first round. He also defeated Efrain Escudero in the catch-weight in his second UFC fight through submission, but this time around, it didn’t happen until the third round.
Oliveira would later lose the first fight of his career after submitting to Jim Miller in the first round at UFC 124 in December 2010. His next fight ended in a no-contest after he was discovered illegally using his knee to bring Nik Lentz into submission on June 26, 2011. By the time he would fight his next bout in August 2011, he lost again, but this time around via TKO against Donald Cerrone.
He had to drop to featherweight after so he could get things together. Although he won his first two fights after that, he would soon be beaten by Cub Swanson in September 2012 through KO after he was sent to the canvas. His next fight wasn’t funny because he lost again through a unanimous decision to Frankie Edgar in October 2013.
Oliveira soon went on a four-game winning streak, defeating Nik Lentz in a rematch in one of the games through submission. However, his next fight ended in a loss after losing on TKO to Max Holloway in the first round.
He got back to winning ways against Myles Jury in December 2015 before losing the next two games to Anthony Pettis and Ricardo Lamas, rendering him without any win in 2016. Unfortunately, his 2017 wasn’t too pleasant, winning the first game against Will Brooks in April 2017 before losing to Paul Felder in December the same year.
Since then, Oliveira has won nine straight games, including his last fight against Michael Chandler that earned him the vacant UFC Lightweight Championship thanks to a TKO victory. The fight also helped him break a UFC record of the most finishes in the organization’s history with 17 finishes. However, if you look at how brilliant Oliveira can be with finishing off his opponents pretty quickly, Dustin Poirier will need to be wary of him. Oliveira has won 31, 8 losses, and one no contest in the 40 bouts he has fought.
Poirier ranks No. 1 in the UFC lightweight ranking, making him a formidable opponent for Oliveira. Furthermore, when you check pound-for-pound, he ranks 5th, ahead of Oliveira, who ranks 8th. Poirier has also been around MMA for a long time. He started his professional career in 2009, where he had a 7-0 record until he debuted with World Extreme Cagefighting. Poirier had two fights with WEC, losing his debut and winning the other.
WEC was later merged with UFC, and the 32-year-old made his debut in 2011 when he defeated the then No. 1 featherweight contender Josh Grispi at UFC 125 on a unanimous decision. After that loss, he won three fights before losing to Chan Sung Jung on technical submission in May 2012. Poirier got back to winning ways by defeating Jonathan Brookins, but he lost the fight after that one to Cub Swanson in February 2013.
Poirier didn’t lose again until he lost to the popular Conor McGregor at UFC 178 in September 2014, thanks to TKO in the first round. The next time he would lose was to Michael Johnson two years later in September 2016, by knockout in the first round. After that, he had a couple of wins and one no-contest against Eddie Alvarez before he lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov in a UFC lightweight championship fight at UFC 242 in September 2019. Poirier has been on a winning run since then, and what has made him even more famous is beating Conor McGregor twice, both to a TKO.
With that, Poirier has 28 wins out of 35 bouts, losing six and having one no contest.
So who will win this weekend between Oliveira and Poirier?
It’s tough to predict because of how brilliant both of them are. It’s a chance for Poirier to get his hands on the UFC lightweight championship finally. However, Oliveira would also be hoping to defend his title and stay as the lightweight champion for a longer time.
It’s tricky to select, but considering Oliveira’s history of finishing off his opponents, Poirier must be wary of his threats. So it would not be surprising if Oliveira knockouts Poirier or subjects him to submission before the end of the bout. But the good thing is that Poirier is also a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, and it would be a massive one once the fight begins.
UFC president will hope he can attend this one after finally testing negative for COVID following a positive test alongside his family after Thanksgiving. But, unfortunately, he couldn’t attend UFC Vegas 44, where Jose Aldo beat Rob Font on a unanimous decision.
It’s a big one this weekend, try to watch the fight because it would be amazing.