The time is coming when Dustin Poirier may need to make another move. Whether it’s for a one off against Nate Diaz at 170, or to eventually wrap up his career. He’s come up short in grabbing the lightweight strap twice. But could Poirier beat Kamaru Usman and swipe the welterweight one.
That’s a tricky question with an answer that’s just as tricky. The 33-year old ATT pupil’s coach Mike Brown recently said:
“He’s plenty big for welterweight. Plenty big. 155 is getting real difficult to make. I’m not certain. He could be a better welterweight than lightweight. Time will tell, but he’s definitely not small for welterweight”.
When “The Diamond” moved from featherweight to lightweight there were questions about could he handle the power up a division. Well, he’s proved he absolutely can. But at 170, the guys are much tougher. And while he should be able to handle their firepower, and respond with his own, there’s a bigger question.
Can he handle the pressure wrestling presently all over the division? And that’s the million dollar question. The likelihood of him getting a third title shot at 155 is slipping. He may now at lightweight be really really good, but just not good enough. Outside of Michael Chandler, and maybe Beneil Dariush there’s nothing else we haven’t seen there.
Could Poirier Beat Usman, Or Others At 170
With Poirier being a charity making machine it may be time for him to change his career focus. Instead of necessarily zeroing in on a lightweight title, go for the biggest money makers for him. Or chase the welterweight belt. There’s no doubt he could beat the middle of the road 170ers. His striking accuracy is much better than Neil Magny’s, Stephen Thompson’s, and Belal Muhammad’s. But the very top of the division with some others sprinkled in has his achilles heel. A super ground game, with some great gas tanks.
Whether he finally gets dogged into a rival fight with Colby Covington, the Champion Usman, Michael Chiesa, the combo of Gilbert Burns, the Nate Diaz fight, or even a 4th go around with Conor McGregor. All of them bring more cash to the table for him. Plus it’s less body strain.
Could he beat those guys? Sure, but it’ll definitely be hard work for him. However; it would be fun to see him try it. And at this point, there’s really nothing to lose going that route.