Mike Brown, who coaches at American Top Team, knows a thing or two about being the underdog in a title fight. Brown found himself across the cage from Urijah Faber as he tried to capture the WEC bantamweight championship. Now a student of Brown’s, Dustin Poirier, faces a similar challenge as he looks to face lightweight king Khabib, after beating Max Holloway to claim the Interim lightweight title.
When asked about the similarities between his challenge with Faber, and Poiriers upcoming bout against the undefeated Russian champion, Brown commented “I didn’t really think too much about [the Faber parallel], but I guess there is a bit of a resemblance to that time period,”
Brown then went on to talk about Poirier, who he has trained since 2012, and how he might fair in the title fight which is expected to be made for later this year. “Those kinds of fights, I think are the easiest. They’re the ones that are easiest to train for. Dustin knows what he’s capable of, and all these guys are dangerous, they’re all very good fighters, so it’s better to put yourself in there against the guy everybody thinks is unbeatable. Only good things can happen. Dustin is 100 percent capable, and he’s going to win that fight.”
Poirier is expected to be a heavy underdog when he meets the Loghtweight champion, however brown suggests this is possibly not warranted, saying “He’s always been a great fighter who could win a title on a given night. In the past it was, he’s an offensive machine, and he also has great conditioning but we often didn’t get to see it because he would try to destroy the guy in a minute, a minute-and-a-half. Kill him before he kills me, that was his mindset.”
Of course Brown is biased in his view of his students chances, however does acknowledge that poirier has had to change his mindset, and suggests this change us what gives him the edge, further commenting “Dustin is such a talented guy, super-skilled mentally, physically and technically, and I believe he’s in his absolute prime, He could have win the title a couple of years ago, now he’s a different animal. I’m guessing, because this happens a lot, winning this title against Max is going to propel him to another level. He thought he was the best in the world, or maybe he knew he was the best in the world, but now he has that title label on him and the confidence will be much higher in him. That’s important.”