In the rematch against Justin Gaethje at UFC 291, Poirier was defeated through a brutal second-round head kick knockout. The defeat has been challenging for Poirier to accept, leading to speculation about his next steps as a former interim lightweight champion, a question even Poirier himself cannot answer at the moment.
During an appearance on The MMA Hour, Poirier conveyed, “I’m still in prime shape and capable of competing against any of these guys. I have a love-hate relationship with the sport, so I just roll with it. It’s an emotional roller-coaster on a daily basis. It’s demanding in terms of time, and I have to be extremely selfish in my dedication. I miss many birthdays and family events. But it’s also given me everything that I possess, so in order to perform at the highest level, I need to be utterly focused, selfish, and secluded, which makes me miss out on a lot of moments.”
“But I have the ability to bounce back. I’ve never lost two consecutive fights out of 47. I don’t think I can retire on a losing note. But honestly, I don’t know. Like I said at the press conference, I’m not superior to these guys, but I’ve been in the game for a long time. I don’t want to fight some newbie in UFC or something like that. The fight needs to have significance for me. Otherwise, it’s just another fight. I’ve lived my whole life fighting. I’ve worked hard and put myself in a good position. Each fight needs to hold significance. This was a legacy fight. That’s the real sting.”
Considering his stipulations, there aren’t many suitable opponents for Poirier in the 155-pound division, prompting fans to propose a shift to welterweight, like Rafael dos Anjos, Gilbert Burns, and many other lightweights have previously done. However, Poirier dismisses this as a viable option.
He continued, “Indeed, I could weigh 170 because I normally weigh more than that, but people mistakenly think I’m a large lightweight. Trust me, there are several 155-pound fighters at American Top Team who outweigh me routinely. Out of camp, here in Louisiana, when I’m training a few times a week, I’m in the high 170s. That’s not excessive. To an average person, it might seem a lot, but in today’s UFC lightweight division, that’s not heavy. I haven’t touched the 190s in over six or seven years, ever since I switched to lightweight.”
It seems probable that Poirier might take some time off as he waits for a meaningful fight. One contender who has emerged is the only other fighter to lose a BMF title fight: Nate Diaz.
A history exists between Poirier and Diaz, and a fight between them was scheduled but never materialized. Diaz is currently preparing to box former Disney Channel star Jake Paul on Aug. 5 in Dallas, and Poirier is skeptical about his chances.
“He might win, but I think he’s older, less agile, and his style,” Poirier opined. “I believe his boxing techniques are effective, but boxing in a ring, against a dedicated and committed boxer like Jake, who is young, vigorous, and explosive, could be a challenge. I predict a win for Jake, but I could be mistaken. If Nate can tire Jake out, then who knows. We all know Nate has stamina. We’ll see.”
He added, “I don’t think Nate has the power to knock Jake out. Jake is a big guy, especially compared to Nate. With boxing gloves and Nate’s tap-tap style, I think it will be difficult to defeat Jake.”
If Diaz does not prevail against Paul, it might pave the way for the much-anticipated Poirier-Diaz bout. Diaz had expressed his intention of returning to UFC after his boxing pursuits when he left the promotion last year. If that were to happen, Poirier would be more than happy to welcome the Stockton native back into the cage.
Poirier joked, “He’s not good at high kicks, right? Alright, I’ll take that fight. Let’s do this. I’m not desperate for it. It’s interesting how you’re the third person in the past week to bring his name up even though he’s not even in the organization anymore. That would indeed be a great fight.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Dustin Poirier UFC Future
Who did Dustin Poirier fight at UFC 291?
Dustin Poirier fought against Justin Gaethje at UFC 291.
How did Dustin Poirier lose at UFC 291?
Dustin Poirier lost to Justin Gaethje by a brutal second-round head kick knockout at UFC 291.
Who is Dustin Poirier considering for his next fight?
Dustin Poirier has expressed interest in fighting Nate Diaz next.
Is Dustin Poirier considering a move to the welterweight division?
No, Dustin Poirier has dismissed the suggestion of moving to the welterweight division, stating that he feels comfortable competing in the lightweight division.
What does Dustin Poirier think about Nate Diaz’s boxing match against Jake Paul?
Dustin Poirier has stated that while he believes Nate Diaz could win, he is skeptical due to Diaz’s age, style, and Jake Paul’s commitment to boxing.