Heading into UFC Fight Night 76, Dustin Poirier finds himself in a familiar position as he prepares to face another dangerous Irish up and comer. After being blow out of the water by Conor McGregor at UFC 178, Poirier is looking for a much different outcome this coming Saturday where he will take on Joseph Duffy in front of a rabid Irish crowd at 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland.

While Duffy isn’t as brash or boisterous as McGregor, he is every bit the talent that his fellow Irishman is. In fact, Duffy is the last fighter to hand McGregor a loss; a first round submission loss at Cage Warriors 39: The Uprising back in November of 2010.

This is another extremely tough matchup for Poirier, but it’s definitely a matchup he can win. Between a hostile crowd and a dangerous opponent, Poirier is going to have to really fight his fight to win.

Work the Clinch Game

Poirier is a talented striker and he is coming off of two impressive first round knockout victories, but striking at distance is Duffy’s game. Undefeated in professional boxing, Duffy knows how to establish and maintain distance on the feet. Poirier needs to take that away by utilizing the clinch where he can knee and dirty box with Duffy. Poirier needs to wear on him and make his arms heavy.

Establish the Pace

Even though Poirier is only 26, he is one of the most experienced fighters in the division with 15 UFC/WEC fights under his belt. Poirier has been in the cage with some of the best fighters the sport has to offer and he knows how to exploit an opponent’s weakness. That said Duffy has only be past the first round on only three occasions.

When a fighter is used to finishing fights in the first round, it can be difficult for them to properly prepare themselves for the later rounds. Poirier needs to extend the fight and he needs to make Duffy uncomfortable with constant pressure.

Force Duffy to Make a Mistake

Duffy is an excellent fighter in all phases of the game, but he has made mistakes in the past that resulted in him being finished; he was finished in his lone professional loss and he was submitted in an exhibition bout to get into The Ultimate Fighter house. Poirier has the weapons and the experience to take advantage of any mistake, he just needs to be patient. The more pressure he can apply and the more uncomfortable he can make Duffy, the more likely it will be the Duffy makes a mistake.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.