Dustin Poirier's evening at UFC on Fuel 3 didn't quite go as planned.
Poirier was a heavy favorite going into his main event bout with Chan Sung Jung, and many—I'll include myself in that group—believed that Poirier was going to walk through Jung without a care in the world. I thought he was too skilled and too technical for Jung, and I figured it was an easy win for the Louisiana native that would set up a future title shot.
Instead, it was Jung who used the fight to break away from the pack and earn himself a title shot, triggering a wave of Zombie-mania that may not subside until he faces Jose Aldo for the featherweight title.
Poirier was understandably upset during his post-fight interview with Ariel Helwani, which you can watch in the above video:
I'm trying not to get emotional, I just care so much and I let myself down. I deserved to win. My wife deserved for us to win. I felt like I was in the best shape ever, I just took some bad shots and made some mistakes. I'm gonna go back to the gym and work on it and come back and get a W.
The loss to Jung is a step in the wrong direction, but Poirier still has a lot to offer at featherweight. I do believe he's going to be a future title contender, and I believe it'll happen in the next 18 months. He made plenty of mistakes against Jung, but he's young and has a lot of time to close up those holes in his game.
What's next for Poirier? I'd like to see him face the loser of the July bout between Jose Aldo and Erik Koch. I say that mostly because the loser will likely be Koch, and I've been waiting to see Poirier and Koch square off for a long time. We were supposed to see the fight go down at UFC 143, but Koch suffered an injury and was forced to pull out.
Poirier won't tumble too far down the featherweight ladder. The division is thin on potential stars, and Poirier's one of the only guys in the division with main event experience under his belt. He's also the star of Fightville, a critically-acclaimed documentary that you need to see if you haven't done so already.
I expect Poirier to learn from this loss, to rebound and be better than before. If that happens, he can consider the loss to Jung—no matter how heart-wrenching it may feel right now—a positive experience.