Dustin Poirier thinks that they both with Justin Gaethje should’ve trusted more their ground game against Charles Oliveira.
Gaethje dropped Oliveira in Round 1 of their lightweight title fight at UFC 274, but he didn’t want to risk going to the ground with the jiu-jitsu ace. Instead he called Oliveira (33-8 MMA, 21-8 UFC) back up to his feet and just moments later, he was dropped and submitted by the Brazilian in the first round.
“I think he should have followed him up,” Poirier said on “THE FIGHT with Teddy Atlas.” “Got on top, tried to finish the fight. You know, find out how hurt Charles really was. There’s only one way to find out: You’ve got to dive in.”
“The Diamond” suffered a similar fate when he was choked out by Oliveira in Round 3 of their title fight at UFC 269. Like Gaethje, Poirier hurt Oliveira early but also decided not to follow him to the ground.
“Same thing with me – of course, you have to respect jiu jitsu,” Poirier said. “I’ve been doing jiu-jitsu forever. I’m a blackbelt, as well, compete with and train with the best guys in the world. I’m confident, and I have good jiu-jitsu. I just respected his too much that I didn’t engage. The plan was to by any means stay off the ground and don’t play jiu-jitsu at all with this guy.”
“So, even in the second round when I ended up on my back, and he was on top, I just tried to get stood up. I tried to get a stalemate. I didn’t engage and use my jiu-jitsu offensively or defensively, and I should have. I should have created space. I should have attempted submissions and used that to create space and get back up.”