Dustin Poirier (12-2) was likely one fight away from earning a shot at the UFC featherweight title before “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung (13-3) got in his way, choking Poirier unconscious in the fourth round of the UFC on FUEL TV 3 main event last night.
The loss ended Poirier’s five-fight win streak and gave him his first loss at featherweight in either the UFC or WEC. After the bout, Poirier discussed what went wrong.
“I think it might’ve been the third round [that] I started coming into my game that I thought I was going to be able to keep the whole time,” Poirier said at the post-fight press conference. “I started landing my jab and my cross, working my boxing, but you know, it’s a fight. He hit me with some good shots and I made some mistakes.”
Although clearly upset by the loss, Poirier plans to use the setback as a learning lesson. Taking his first professional fight only three years ago, Poirier likely hasn’t hit his peak.
“I just need to get back in the gym and keep training,” he said. “I’m going to learn a lot from this fight.”
Throughout the fight, Jung had success with his ground-and-pound when he secured top position on Poirier. Jung’s strength and hip control neutralized Poirier’s Jiu Jitsu game, something the Louisiana native didn’t expect heading into the bout.
The big difference, though, came on the feet. When Poirier abandoned his range-finding jab and left cross, Jung aggressively pushed forward and tagged Poirier with power punches and knees. More than anything, Poirier didn’t impose his will and dictate the action.
“[I] just [need] to stick to my game-plan better,” he said. “I should have come out firing with good combinations, and instead I waited on him and tried to counterpunch a little bit. I let him get a rhythym. By the time I did feel like I had some rhythm, it was too late.”