Garry Tonon still game for cancelled Dustin Poirier clash

Garry Tonon still keen on grappling match with Dustin Poirier
Garry Tonon still keen on grappling match with Dustin Poirier
Andrew Whitelaw

Garry Tonon was scheduled to take on Dustin Poirier in a grappling match in 2020 but the bout was canceled after the ONE Championship star received a cut above his eye.

Tonon has spent several months preparing his title shot against ONE featherweight champion Thanh Le. The bout has been postponed numerous times due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The American has opted to avoid grappling matches in the meantime, but suggested that a bout with an MMA fighter like Dustin Poirier would be tempting.

Speaking exclusively to Sportskeeda, Tonon said:

"I don't know what it would take to make that [a grappling match with Dustin Poirier] happen again but I would love to do something like that. If a match like that came up - maybe I could consider doing it in between because it's a little different. I wouldn't be preparing for another grappler. If I'm competing against another guy whose main focus is MMA."

He added:

"I always love the idea of those cross-promoted events because the chances of me fighting a guy like Dustin Poirier are pretty limited considering we're in different organizations but the fact that we're able to find a way to test each others skills in grappling because its a different sport or whatever is kind of cool."

Tonon is no stranger to submitting prominent UFC fighters, having finished the likes of Gilbert Burns and Mateusz Gamrot in grappling matches in the past.

Poirier was on the wrong end of a submission earlier this month as 'The Diamond' came up short in his UFC lightweight title clash against Brazilian jiu-jitsu phenom Charles Oliveira, losing via rear-naked choke in the third round.

Tonon says waiting for Thanh Le means he 'fights differently now'

Dealing with fight postponements must be immensely frustrating. Nevertheless, Garry Tonon says he's used the extra time to make significant adjustments to his overall game. He said:

"I've noticed that if you prepare so much for certain things that a person does - it changes you. I fight differently now. Especially because of the way that Thanh fights. It's very specific. You do something for over a year, you're not just prepared for what your opponent's going to do - you're starting to get good in those positions and it starts to become something where you can be as effective as that person is. It's been interesting."

Tonon has suggested that the fight with Thanh Le will finally happen in the first half of 2022. With both men undefeated inside the ONE Circle, it should be a fascinating encounter.

Watch Tonon's full interview with Sportskeeda below:


Edited by C. Naik
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