Perennial UFC featherweight contender Dustin Poirier has tallied notable victories over stiff competition throughout his nearly six-year professional career in mixed martial arts. After spending the last three years fighting at 145 pounds, "The Diamond" will be taking a step up to lightweight for his next bout with Carlos Diego Ferreira.
Poirier has always eaten right, according to his longtime nutritionist George Lockhart. He is only 26-years-old, but has competed often, and at a high level, since his UFC debut.
Lockhart and Poirier have been working together since the latter's first UFC fight against Josh Grispi in January 2011. It wasn't only Poirier's first fight in the big leagues, but also his first fight at featherweight.
"The first one [weight cut] with Dustin was actually relatively easy for the time we had. A three-week cut, not that much weight," said Lockhart. "Dustin was shocked at his performance. He went out there for three rounds and destroyed Grispi."
From that moment, Poirier's confidence skyrocketed. He was eating quality foods and developed a routine outside of the Octagon that greatly influenced his fighting career.
The Louisiana native was well on his way to stardom, earning three-straight dominant victories following his drubbing of Grispi. Poirier was already a well-oiled, technically-sound fighting machine but after his first UFC loss against Chan Sung Jung in May 2012, he packed his bags and began training at the famed American Top Team camp in South Florida.
Poirier made the move for the better coaching and training partners. The workouts that coaches like ATT co-founder Ricardo Liborio employed also went a long way, says Poirier.
"I have a strength and conditioning coach [Brian Harris] at American Top Team and I just listen to him. The first stage we do is all strength at the beginning of camp, then we start to switch to cardio and stuff," Poirier says.
As he readies his body for battle in a 2-3 month camp, Poirier also preps for his eventual weight cut. The process is a steep one, and one that requires the utmost dedication and discipline.
"In the offseason he has my program, it basically tells him when to eat, what to eat and how much to eat. We bring him down relatively slow," says Lockhart.
Poirier normally tips the scale at 185 pounds at the start of camp. His meal plan is laid out for him by Lockhart, who has trained other well-known fighters and champions in the sport. In the plan are four key principles for Poirier to follow: types of food, timing, portion size and hormonal response to food.
He eats high-quality, all-natural and organic foods; as well as a good mixture of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
"For breakfast, I might do a cup of kale with eight egg whites, some strawberries and some blueberries. Some oatmeal. I'll go train and have my protein shake after training," says Poirier. "For lunch, I might have four ounces of chicken, four ounces of avocado, a couple handfuls of spinach and some almonds. Then I head back to the gym, [and have] another protein shake after training."
"My protein powder is all plant-based, organic. I do protein and greens after my training sessions. If I don't do a protein shake between sessions I do like a fruit shake, I'll make it before I go to the gym. Berries, flakseed oils stuff like that."