Joe Duffy has hailed Dustin Poirier as ‘the most exciting fighter in the UFC’ before his bout with Conor McGregor at UFC 257.
Duffy, who choked out McGregor before they were both in the UFC, will be watching intently as the action unfolds this Saturday night on Fight Island.
Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier embrace one another at the UFC 257 weigh insGetty Images – Getty
The Irishman may have retired last year, but spoke to talkSPORT.com before his bout with Joel Alvarez and remembers his clash with ‘The Diamond’ fondly.
Duffy and ‘The Diamond’ enjoyed a sensational slugfest in 2016, with Poirier emerging with a unanimous decision victory.
However, the margins of the judges’ scorecards do not tell the full story of the fight, as both men went to hell and back and pushed one another all the way.
Since his defeat to McGregor at UFC178, Poirier has reinvented himself as one of the best lightweights in the world and Duffy believes the Louisiana-native deserves all the credit in the world.
Dustin Poirier and Duffy battled out a cracking battle in 2016
“I’m very impressed with Dustin,” he told talkSPORT.com in July. “Every fight he is in and the way he just bounces back and looks to get back in there as soon as possible.
“I would say he is the most exciting fighter on the roster, sometimes the way he turns around to fight so quickly.
“I’ll fight, get a little injury and it puts me out for a while, but Dustin just seems to get the injuries sorted and get back and you have got to be impressed by a guy like that.
“His tenacity; to lose a fight, but never give up is similar to Michael Bisping. How can you not draw inspiration from guys like that? Who just never quite and keep coming back and obviously it pays dividends because you really do end up getting to the top.”
Duffy infamously submitted Conor McGregor in 2010YouTube
Duffy, who has incredible boxing skills, once made McGregor tap out after his brief stint on the Ultimate Fighter with just 38 seconds on the clock.
Their Cage Warriors bout in 2010 would be the last defeat for ‘The Notorious’ until he was stopped by Nate Diaz in 2016 – a run which saw him become featherweight world champion.
And although the modest Duffy does not like to talk too much about the fight itself, the memories have not faded.
“I can remember the fight clear as day, everything about it to be honest,” Duffy told talkSPORT.com.
Coach John Kavanagh consoles the then 22-year-oldYouTube
“I suppose I am repeating myself here, but it wasn’t a big fight in the sense of like how people see it now. Obviously people see who Conor is now, but back then I had just lost on the Ultimate Fighter and for me it was just a case of bouncing back.
“It was about getting back on a tear, like I kind of felt at that stage in the game I was probably a bigger name.
“It was just a fight that I expected to win. So for me, it wasn’t as big as a deal as is seen now. But obviously it was a good win for me and a good start to my next tear, I suppose.”
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