Dustin Poirier is a ranked lightweight contender and has been in the octagon with the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s biggest star, Conor McGregor.
So what’s a seasoned fighter such as Poirier doing fighting Joe Duffy sometime between 4 and 5 p.m. on Saturday, the day of UFC 195 at the MGM Grand Garden?
To attract more UFC Fight Pass subscribers, of course.
The UFC has pushed hard to get more MMA fans to fork over $10 a month by lining up appealing fights for the online streaming service. Anderson Silva, who was suspended a year for testing positive for banned substances, will make his return to the cage in February’s Fight Pass card against Michael Bisping in the main event of UFC Fight Night 83.
Poirier (18-4) said he doesn’t mind being the headline event for the Fight Pass card on Saturday.
“It’s a business decision,” said Poirier, the No. 12-ranked lightweight contender. “I’m fine with getting more subscribers, that’s the goal to push it.
“Fighting at 4 o’clock in the afternoon is not a problem. I have time to eat pizza, drink beer and watch my buddy Robbie Lawler fight.”
Lawler will put his welterweight title on the line against Carlos Condit in the main event of UFC 195.
There also could be added pressure to perform well if the UFC is investing in Poirier to bring in the money, but the 26-year-old fighter from Louisiana doesn’t feel it.
“There’s no pressure,” Poirier said. “Fighting is what I do. I don’t care if this is televised or not. I won’t lose focus. This is just another fight.”
Poirier, 26, aspires to fight the best in the lightweight division, such as defending champion Rafael dos Anjos and possibly a rematch with McGregor, whom he lost to in a first-round knockout in 2014.
Poirier isn’t looking ahead just yet and won’t take Duffy lightly.
Duffy, 27, has only two UFC fights under his belt, but he did something Poirier couldn’t do — beat McGregor.
The Irishmen battled in 2010 in Dublin, where Duffy defeated McGregor via an arm-triangle choke.
McGregor was a different fighter five years ago, and the UFC is a different beast.
“He’s a good striker and has good submissions,” Poirier said of Duffy. “I’m the experienced fighter, and I’m ready to prove I’m one of the best.”
Poirier is coming off two impressive first-round knockout victories.
He said he won’t be giving out Fight Pass promo codes for his fight with Duffy.
“If anyone asks, I’ll tell them the code is $10 a month to sign up,” Poirier said.
There’s always the free 30-day trial.
— Contact Gilbert Manzano at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @gmanzano24