He was one win away.
All Dustin Poirier has to do was defeat “The Korean Zombie”, Chan Sung Jung, and he would have guaranteed himself an opportunity to fight UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Also. Unfortunately, Jung lived up to the “Zombie” part of his nickname, refusing to die against the favoured Poirier.
A fourth round submission loss in what many called the 2012 “fight of the year” saw his dream fade, at least for a while.
Like Josh Grispi before him, and more recently Eric Koch, one shot away from a title shot means very little in the ultra-competitive featherweight division. It is by no means a guarantee, and the pressure of such an opportunity is stifling. Now 24, Poirier will have many more opportunities in his career to create that defining moment. After the May 2012 loss to Jung, he bounced back with a first round pounding of Ultimate Fighter winner Jonathan Brookins. It was a momentum boost the young fighter needed.
On short notice, Poirier will face the battle teste...