23-year-old featherweight Dustin Poirier impressed yet again Saturday night, repelling a debuting but very impressive Max Holloway with a first round submission.
Holloway came out of the gates hot, giving Poirier some unexpected trouble on the feet with an all-out, varied assault. Showing the ability to adjust, Poirier closed the gap and put Holloway on the mat, where he slapped on a triangle/armbar that he finished in mount position to earn the Submission of the Night bonus and his fourth straight Octagon victory.
"I really thought it was gonna be a back-and-forth stand up fight," Poirier explained post-fight. "But, I thought it was gonna be a lot slower of a pace when it started off. I didn't expect him to come chin down, banging like that. I thought it was gonna be a little bit more methodical, feeling out. But, he had nothing to lose and he came in there, threw a lot of punches and keep the pressure on me. So, I had to close the distance, take him down and finish it."
On a five-fight winning streak with the last four taking place in the Octagon, Poirier is rapidly breaking into the upper echelon at 145lbs. With continued victory, Poirier will be knocking on the door for a title shot soon, but he's remaining cognizant of the fact that he's still young in the sport and would like to do some more improving before he steps in to face the champion.
"I feel like I'm pretty close (to a title shot) but I'm just not ready to rush it," he said. "When I fight for the title, I want to be one hundred percent ready. I feel like I'm maturing every fight, I'm getting better every fight. I just turned 23 years old two weeks ago and I have a lot of improving to do. … I have a lot of growing to do. Like I said, when I do fight for that title, I wanna take it and I wanna hold it for a long time. So, I'm just taking my time and building it up, fight by fight, getting better every day."
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