The risks of picking a fight with the strongest men in the world were put on full display last week when strongman Eddie Hall sent gymnast Nile Wilson flying through mid-air after the Olympian absorbed a hard punch to the chest.
That show of force, however, didn’t deter another lopsided matchup from taking place this week when UFC champion Dustin Poirier showed up for a sparring session with four-time World’s Strongest Man Brian Shaw, which Shaw just posted to his YouTube channel.
On paper, the matchup looks surprisingly similar to the Wilson-Hall stunt: Depending on where you look, Shaw is listed at roughly 6’8″ 440 pounds, while the relatively diminutive Poirier weighs in at 5’9, 155 pounds. Unlike Wilson, however, Poirier happens to be one of the UFC’s most dominant fighters, currently listed as the UFC’s number one ranked lightweight after knocking out Conor McGregor at UFC 257. (Coincidentally, the controversial Irish fighter has tussled with strongmen too, as footage of he and Hafthor Björnsson sparring went viral in 2015.)
It doesn’t take long for Poirier to establish his cred, either. Within the opening minute of the video, “the Diamond” is already putting on a clinic—literally teaching Shaw how to hit the heavy bags. After that, they graduate to some pad work, with Shaw gleefully inviting Poirier to kick the pad as hard as he can. (He barely budges.) When Shaw returns the favor, you can begin to see shades of the Wilson-Hall encounter, with even Poirier flying backwards due to the sheer brute force of Shaw’s strike.
Finally, the two get down to business, practicing submissions—specifically, some side and back positions. “I’ll see if I can keep you down, move you around, maybe submit you,” Poirier says. Comically, he pauses to add, “But I did just see this guy lift a dumbbell that weighs as much as I do.”
In the ensuing tussle, it’s impressive to watch Poirier draw upon his formidable MMA skills to deal with Shaw’s size and strength. Conversely, you can’t help but wonder what kind of destruction someone blessed with Shaw’s genetic gifts might be capable of with even a basic level of MMA training.
If nothing else, he could be a referee for the long-anticipated boxing match between Eddie Hall and Thor Bjornsson later this year.
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