Saturday, January 5th, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada for UFC 195: “Lawler vs. Condit” by Daniel Tom

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Dustin Poirier (18-4)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’9″ Age: 26 Weight: 155 lbs Reach: 73″
  • Last Fight: TKO win / Yancy Medeiros (6-6-15)
  • Camp: American Top Team (Louisiana)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Southpaw / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   Brown Belt BJJ
+   9 KO/TKO’s 6 Submissions
+   11 first round finishes
+   Good shot selection
+   Solid cage pressure
^   Looks to overwhelm w/volume
+   Counters underhooks w/D’Arce’s
+   Good distancing & cage cutting
–    Hurt/dropped in 6 of last 10 fights
+   Improved variety & durability at LW
+   Excellent right hook
–    Will leave kicks hanging out
+/-Often reverts to shell defense
^   Leaves open body shots & uppercuts
+   Accurate straight/counter left hand
–    Right shoulder/guard lowers on entries
+   Strong left body kick
–   Shows susceptibility to Triangles


Joseph Duffy (14-1)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’10” Age: 27 Weight: 155 lbs Reach: 73″
  • Last Fight: Submission win / Ivan Jorge (7-18-15)
  • Camp: The MMA Clinic/Tristar Gym (Ireland)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Boxing
  • Risk Management: Good

Supplemental info:
+   Jiu Jitsu & TKD Black Belt
+   Blue Belt BJJ
+   12 first round finishes
+   7-0 as a Pro Boxer
+   Excellent head movement & feints
^   Good economy of strikes off movement
+   Adapts/sets footwork to opponent
+   Hunts submissions in transition
+   Very experienced against Southpaws
+   9 submissions & 4 KO/TKO victories
–    Keeps left hand/guard low
–    Shows leg kick susceptibility
+   Deceptive striking speed changes
+   Excellent counter striking
^   Heavily reliant on timing & movement
+   Accurate & intercepting left hook
+   Favors left lead strikes offensively
^   Fast switch kicks & shuffle knees


Originally destined for Dublin and inserted into the Fight Pass fold, Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier will finally meet “Irish” Joe Duffy.  On initial view of Joseph Duffy’s skill-set, his slightly low standing guard doesn’t neccesarily suggest a “Good” risk management rating. However, as you watch film on Duffy, you’ll begin to see his “robot-like” systematic & technical approach. Though Joe’s excellent timing ties in his counters off head movement, it’s his footing that actually supports and dictates his game. Footwork & timing will be crucial against a Southpaw like Dustin, but luckily for Joe he’s faced many Southpaws in his career. In watching said film, Duffy’s footwork is like literal clockwork. He consistently looks to set attack angles or achieve “the outside foot position” that Orthodox/Southpaw fighters battle for. From here, Joseph will prod and feint his way in drawing out counters or defensive openings.

Both Joe & Dustin’s footwork takes place in what I refer to as an “engaged range“(not hanging back to counter nor consistently blitzing forward). When fighting in this range a technical skill set is a must, however it’s often the faster/more aggressive man who dictates. Both men show to be technical & athletic, but I give the speed advantage to Duffy(especially in the striking department). That said, Poirier has shown more fight to fight improvements in every area since moving back up to Lightweight. At Featherweight it was clear he was diminished by weight cutting, as we saw a talented & aggressive fighter struggling with what his body could output/absorb. Despite being hurt and or dropped in 6 of his last 10 fights, Dustin’s showed to take shots much better since his return to this Division.

I expect a physically prepared & technically improved Poirier, and with that in mind, I chose to focus on his core tendencies for my analysis. Defensively, Dustin will often revert to a “shell defense” which will traditionally open up body shots & uppercuts. Though Duffy utilized uppercuts more in his Boxing career, he has shown a proven MMA arsenal of body attacks. For me however, Dustin’s biggest defensive liability in this fight is his tendency to drop his right hand on entries/pocket exchanges. This in particular opens him up to a left hook, which just so happens to be Joe’s most accurate & well timed punch. Duffy consistently through contests will look to time opponents on their way in, or make them pay on his/their way out of the exchanges. That all being noted, a similar truth can be told from the other side.

Though Duffy possesses good head movement & rolls well with punches, he will also keep a low-lead hand/guard. Despite keeping his chin tucked to his shoulders, Duffy is still open for right hooks. As fate would have it, Dustin carries an aggressive & accurate right hook. When feeling in stride, Poirier will also tac on a nice straight left as shown in his recent fights. This all being said, I feel Dustin’s best chances striking will be through kicks. Duffy has shown a susceptibility to leg kicks given his stance, and Dustin can exploit this/create openings should he choose. Poirier’s best kick is his left body kick, and could be doubly effective if he mixes in the left high kick. Though Duffy has shown to be defensively sound, he leans heavily to the right side of his guard. You can effectively block kicks from this style, but we’ve also seen guys lean low to block a body kick and instead receive a headshot(Nogueira vs Herring 3).

If Dustin can’t shift the momentum standing, I suspect he’ll follow his natural suit of forward cage attack pressure. From here, expect Dustin to mix dirty boxing with TD attempts in effort to test Duffy’s ground game or neutralize him standing at the very least. Duffy however, is used to this approach from his past fights, and has shown good cage & TD defense. Given the styles & mat times in both men’s career, I don’t expect long grappling stalemates. On the ground, both men are multi-talented submission artists, but I feel the key difference on the floor will be their scrambling ability. Dustin primarily looks to sweep or transition technically, where as Joe creates & capitalizes on scrambles(where he’s shown to sharp shoot subs in transition). Poirier has shown to give his back in scrambles & has even lost rounds to it in the past.

Dustin has also shown susceptible in past fights to Triangle Chokes(though never officially caught). This is due to his general posture & hand fighting(or lack of) when on top. This could be something to look for given it’s Duffy’s favorite submission(6 finishes in Pro & Am career). This fight is so fun on paper that it felt like a crime to try and break it down. But after doing so, I predict Joseph Duffy’s technical consistency will find a finish before the final horn.

Official Pick: Duffy – Inside the distance

Official Outcome: Poirier – Decision.

Preliminary Card Predictions

  • McDonald def. Kanehara
  • Noke def. Morono
  • Kish def. Ansaroff
  • Holtzman def. Dober
  • Duffy def. Poirier
  • Soto def. Tanaka
  • Westcott def. Garcia

Recommended Plays

Fantasy MMA Picks

High Tier Picks:

-Robbie Lawler
-Albert Tumenov
-Tony Sims

Low Tier Picks:

-Carlos Condit
-Dustin Poirier
-Andrei Arlovski

Pieces for your parlay:

-Brian Ortega
-Albert Tumenov
-Tony Sims

Props worth looking at:

-Albert Tumenov – by KO/TKO
-Scott Holtzman – by Submission
-Brian Ortega – inside the distance

Fights to avoid:

-Stipe Miocic vs Andrei Arlovski
-Michael McDonald vs Massanori Kanehara
-Kyle Noke vs Alex Morono

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