Dustin Poirier disagrees with divisional rival Justin Gaethje calling UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira a “quitter.”
There were times in the past when Oliveira would close up shop if things weren’t going his way in his fights, but those days are long ago. Oliveira is now the UFC lightweight champion and he showed in his title fight against Michael Chandler at UFC 262 that he can take a punch and still keep on coming. After losing a 10-8 first round on the judges’ scorecards to Chandler at UFC 266, Oliveira came back in the second round and knocked his rival out. While in the past, Oliveira may have given up after getting hurt and facing adversity, he showed Chandler that he has a lot more heart in it now than he did before.
Despite Oliveira coming back from being down early against Chandler to win the title, Gaethje recently labeled the lightweight champ a “quitter,” pointing to his past performances where he folded under pressure. Speaking to the media at the UFC Hall of Fame ceremony this week, Poirier — who fights Oliveira for the UFC lightweight title at UFC 269 — said that he doesn’t agree with what Gaethje said about Oliveira. In fact, Poirier says, Oliveira proved he’s not a quitter when he was able to come back and beat Chandler.
“I’ve seen Charles in a lot of fights,” Poirier said (h/t MMAFighting.com). “He’s been in a lot of fights at a high level so I’ve seen him kind of fold in fights before. But I’ve also seen him rise to the occasion and show up in adversity. If he was a quitter, he had a chance to quit when Chandler hurt him but he came back and put him away. If that shows anything – like they say, your last fight is your most important and your next fight is your most important. The guy showed a championship mentality, he showed a championship effort, got hurt, pulled it together, finished the guy. There was no quit that night,” Dustin Poirier said.