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Dustin Poirier Urged To Capitalize On Justin Gaethje's Weakness At UFC 291: 'If He Can Do That To Khabib…'

Former referee and current Bellator commentator “Big” John McCarthy is the latest person to suggest that Dustin Poirier should bring Justin Gaethje to the mat when they fight at UFC 291.

Poirier and Gaethje previously met in 2018 and put on a sensational performance that rightfully earned Fight of the Night honors. “The Diamond” walked away from that matchup as the victor after scoring a finish early in the fourth round, and fans are hoping for more fireworks when the two square off in the main event of UFC 291 in Salt Lake City.

The winner of the highly anticipated rematch will claim the BMF belt and also should be next in line for a shot at the UFC’s lightweight title. McCarthy told Josh Thomson that he hopes to see Poirier utilize his grappling advantage for an easier path to victory.

“Dustin Poirier is a good submission fighter,” McCarthy said on Weighing In. “Dustin Poirier is good on the ground…. If you’re Dustin Poirier, you gotta look and say, ‘I’m way better on the ground than Justin Gaethje.’ He’s got wrestling, but it’s not the wrestling that when he was a kid. He’s a different person now and he’s a standup fighter now. He can defensively stop a lot of wrestling maneuvers, but when he hits the ground – let’s be honest Josh, he’s not the same fighter.”

John McCarthy Suggests Dustin Poirier Should Take Confidence From Previous Performance 

Both of Gaethje’s bids to claim the UFC’s lightweight title ended with him being submitted, and McCarthy believes that Poirier only needs to think back on his fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov to consider how he can get a second win over “The Highlight.”

(Per Haljestam/USA TODAY Sports)

“When you take a look at the person [Gaethje] is fighting, Dustin Poirier many times has proven, ‘Hey, I’ll go to the submission game.’ And he’s got good submissions. Dustin almost submitted Khabib. I’m not saying Khabib was gonna tap, but I’ll tell ya what, he did a lot to get himself out of a guillotine that was on, and tight. And if he can do that to Khabib, he can definitely do that to Justin.”

Even if Poirier does decide to take things to the ground in Salt Lake City, fans will probably still be treated to some extended striking exchanges between two of the most exciting fighters on the UFC roster.

Gaethje’s last win over Rafael Fiziev saw the 34-year-old put on one of the more composed performances of his career, but unsurprisingly, the two lightweights still took home Fight of the Night honors at UFC 286.

There should be plenty of fantastic action at UFC 291 to get fans primed for the night’s headlining bout, and the card’s co-main event will also include some significant title implications for the light heavyweight division when Alex Pereira moves up from middleweight to take on Jan Błachowicz.

Read Also: Dan Hardy Highlights Justin Gaethje’s ‘Kryptonite’ That Dustin Poirier Can Exploit At UFC 291

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