Javier Mendez has weighed in with his opinion regarding the highly-anticipated UFC lightweight title matchup between Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier. The world-renowned MMA coach from the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) gym picked Poirier to win the fight.
Mendez added, however, that Charles Oliveira was more than capable of defeating Dustin Poirier. During a live stream on the JavierMendezAKAPodcast YouTube channel, he was asked about his prediction for the Oliveira vs. Poirier matchup. Mendez responded by stating:
“Anything could happen, but I think Dustin. Definitely, Oliveira could surprise everybody or not surprise everybody because he’s that good and just destroy Dustin. He could. I’m favoring Dustin but not by much. Oliveira is the real deal. He’s a champion for a reason. And he’s been having a hell of a win streak for a reason.”
Furthermore, Javier Mendez highlighted Charles Oliveira's ability to come back from tricky situations during his fights. Harking back to Oliveira’s UFC 262 fight against Michael Chandler, wherein he almost got stopped by Chandler in round one and then finished the latter in round two, Mendez said:
“And he comes back, like he did against (Michael) Chandler. You know, he’s incredible, man.”
Javier Mendez has coached several notable fighters over the years, including former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. The longtime UFC lightweight kingpin retired in October 2020. The UFC came to terms with Nurmagomedov’s retirement in March 2021, and the lightweight title was declared vacant.
Following this, Charles Oliveira fought Michael Chandler for the vacant UFC lightweight title at UFC 262 in May 2021. Oliveira won a back-and-forth fight via second-round TKO and was crowned the new undisputed UFC lightweight champion. Oliveira is now looking to make his first title defense against UFC mainstay Dustin Poirier.
You can watch Javier Mendez’s prediction regarding the Charles Oliveira vs. Dustin Poirier matchup in the video below:
Will Dustin Poirier win UFC gold or does Charles Oliveira's reign continue?
Dustin Poirier secured back-to-back TKO victories in a pair of fights against MMA megastar Conor McGregor earlier this year. Poirier, a former interim UFC lightweight champion, has significant momentum on his side and is on the cusp of winning the coveted undisputed UFC lightweight title.
‘The Diamond’ previously competed for the undisputed title in a title unification matchup against Khabib Nurmagomedov back in September 2019. Poirier lost that fight via third-round submission.
Dustin Poirier’s upcoming fight against Charles Oliveira will be his second shot at the undisputed belt. The Oliveira-Poirier UFC lightweight title bout is scheduled to take place at UFC 269 on December 11th, 2021.
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