‘He is the most exciting fighter in the UFC’ – Joe Duffy heaps praise on former foe Dustin Poirier before Fight Island appearance

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Joe Duffy insists former foe Dustin Poirier is ‘the most exciting fighter’ in the UFC at this moment in time.

Duffy and ‘The Diamond’ enjoyed a sensational slugfest in 2016, with Poirier emerging with a unanimous decision victory.

However, the margins of the judges scorecards do not tell the full story of the fight, as both men went to hell and back and pushed one another all the way.

Dustin Poirier and Joe Duffy battled out a cracking battle in 2016

Duffy, a former boxer, utilised his striking skills in the early goings but was taken down after Poirier realised he was getting hurt on the feet.

Exhilarating rights have become part of Poirier’s huge appeal in the sport of MMA, as well as his incredible generosity and acts of kindness outside of it.

After watching Duffy claim a 25-second win over Mitchell Clarke, the Louisiana-native made sure to congratulate his former foe in a classy display of respect.

Now a former interim lightweight champion, Poirier is seeking to earn another shot at Khabib Nurmagomedov once the Russian concludes his business with Justin Gaethje in September.

Poirier won the interim lightweight title in 2019 after beating Max Holloway in a five-round war

Poirier won the interim lightweight title in 2019 after beating Max Holloway in a five-round war

And Duffy could not be more proud of the man he once shared a thrilling 15 minutes with in the octagon.

“I’m very impressed with Dustin,” he told talkSPORT.com “Every fight he is in and the way he just bounces back and looks to get back in there as soon as possible.

“I would say he is the most exciting fighter on the roster, sometimes the way he turns around to fight so quickly.

“I’ll fight, get a little injury and it puts me out for a while, but Dustin just seems to get the injuries sorted and get back and you have got to be impressed by a guy like that.

‘The Diamond’ is a genuine PPV star in the UFC

‘The Diamond’ is a genuine PPV star in the UFC

“His tenacity; to lose a fight, but never give up is similar to Michael Bisping. How can you not draw inspiration from guys like that?

“Who just never quite and keep coming back and obviously it pays dividends because you really do end up getting to the top.”

The 32-year-old from Ireland has experienced his fair share of setbacks himself, but has always risen back to the top through his sheer grit and determination.

And with a chance to end his two-fight losing streak on Saturday against Joel Alvarez on Fight Island, Duffy is expecting another tough test in the UFC’s stacked 155lbs division.

‘Fight Island’ on Abu Dhabi has become the centre of the MMA universe

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‘Fight Island’ on Abu Dhabi has become the centre of the MMA universe

“Well I suppose for me I always expect a three-round war,” he concluded. “I always expect the worse and then it’s kind of easy to adjust to when you’re expecting the worst.

“Then, if the worst happens, generally it’s less bad as what you billed it up to be in your head.

“So something along them lines like a hard, tough, three rounds of grinding and I know how tough he is.

“He’s a tough guy; in his last fight he hangs in there until the bitter end and then he turned the tide and obviously got that win so I’m expecting a tough fight.

Check out behind-the-scenes footage of UFC Fight Island on Abu Dhabi before a packed summer of fights

“Obviously he is going to have some confidence after his last win; he is young and hungry so it’s going to be a tough night.

“There’s no easy fights in the lightweight division and in the UFC.”

Watch UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: FIGUEIREDO VS BENITEZ 2 from 11pm (1am main card) on Saturday 18 July on BT Sport 1 HD or tune into talkSPORT 2 for live commentary from Adam Catterall, Nick Peet and Danny Roberts.

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, talkSPORT reports

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