They say fortune favors the bold.
It's a philosophy that UFC featherweight Dustin Poirier embraces because it's not everyday a top ranked fighter will step up on short notice to fill a slot against another contender, especially in this division without a full training camp to prepare.
That's exactly what he did however when Dennis Siver suffered an injury ahead of this weekend's UFC on Fuel 7 card. When Poirier got the call to face knockout artist Cub Swanson he didn't hesitate to say yes.
Poirier knows that the fast track to a title shot is to step up when the UFC needs you, and beating a contender like Swanson is even better. It was the perfect recipe for success, and Poirier knew just the right ingredients.
"If I get my hand raised against Cub Swanson, there's no doubt about it that I'm at the top of the division. Maybe a rematch with the (Korean) Zombie (Chan Sung Jung) is in the future, or whatever the UFC has, but I come out on short notice, two wins in a row that would put me at 6-1 in the featherweight division. There's no denying it," Poirier told Bleacher Report in an exclusive interview.
Poirier isn't detached from reality so he knows even with a victory at UFC on Fuel 7, he will likely have to take another fight later this year. That's because the next featherweight title fight is already set and it doesn't happen until August.
Former lightweight contender Anthony Pettis will drop down to 145 pounds and face champion Jose Aldo in a big matchup later this year. There was some backlash from the contenders already fighting at featherweight that complained about a fighter who had never even tested the weight class getting a title shot on day one.
Don't count Poirier among those detractors.
"It really doesn't bother me. I know I’m sure a lot of guys are pissed off in the division, but I'm going to get my chance, I'm going to get my crack at the belt when the time's right. Anthony Pettis is a great fighter, he's on a great run, if he can make the weight make that super fight happen," said Poirier.
"Maybe down the line I'll switch weight classes and get a big fight, hopefully. It doesn't bother me."
To get closer to his own shot at the belt, Poirier first has to stop a charging bull named Cub Swanson, who has been on an absolute tear of late. He's stormed through his last three opponents, stopping all of them by knockout or TKO, and it's resulted in Swanson's name being mentioned as a title contender in 2013.
But that kind of momentum can backfire, according to Poirier, who says it's nice to be on a run like that but sometimes overconfidence can easily be your downfall.
"Guys who get on a big streak like that let it get to their head or kind of start looking at everything they're doing right and stop thinking about what they're doing wrong sometimes. It's good for fighters, but it can also be bad depending on the type of fighter," Poirier stated.
Poirier is taking nothing away from Swanson though because he's aware just how dangerous the UFC and WEC veteran can be. Underestimating him would be a big mistake, one he doesn't intend to make.
"He's finishing guys, I see maybe a little more confidence in his hands, he's letting his hands go and he's always had that style where he throws a lot of punches and kicks, good footwork, good boxing, he's always done that. Maybe he's just really been in a zone these last couple of fights. He's looked awesome, he's looked real good," said Poirier.
With a co-main event slot on the UFC on Fuel 7 card, Poirier is happy to have the entire world watching and he plans on showcasing why he believes the winner of this fight deserves to be sitting alone at the top of the contender's race.
"The winner of this fight is definitely out there at the top," said Poirier.
He will certainly get his chance to prove that on Saturday in England.
Damon Martin is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained first hand unless otherwise noted.
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