Long-time UFC lightweight contender Dustin Poirier recognizes that he’s entering the final stretch of his incredible MMA career, and he wants to make his last years of competition count.
Poirier is riding a thrilling, decision victory over New Zealand’s Dan Hooker, which instantly reasserted him as one of the top contenders in the lightweight division.
Speaking on the Jim Rome Show several weeks after this exciting victory, Poirier updated on his goals for the remainder of his career.
“I don’t know; I’m not sure what the options will be when the UFC comes back and starts sitting at the table to make these matches,” Poirier explained (transcript via MMA Junkie).” “It just needs to be a really big name or a title fight. I’ve been doing this for 10 years in the UFC, and I still love fighting, but I want these fights to mean more than just a fight. I don’t want it to just be about a show and win purse. I want it to really mean something, and I know I’m in the back nine of my career.
“I’ve been fighting for a while, I have 40 fights, and I want these last four or five years to really mean something every time I get into the octagon. Not only for me and my family, but for the goals that I’m trying to bring awareness to and raise money for and for my career. I really want to leave a legacy.”
Dustin Poirier challenged the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight title in September of 2019. While he ended up losing via submission, he did have his moments in the fight, most notably when he tied the champ up in a very tight guillotine choke.
Outside of a rematch with Nurmagomedov, another exciting option for Poirier would be a rematch with MMA megastar Conor McGregor, who he lost to in 2014. That being said, he’s made it clear he prefers the idea of a fight with Nurmagomedov.
“If the belts weren’t on the line, just for my legacy, I would love to beat Khabib,” Poirier told MMA Junkie recently. “Nobody’s ever beat him. Nobody’s ever climbed that mountain. I would love to be the first one. That’s historic. That’s legendary. That’s the stuff I’m out to do. I’m not out for rematches and grudge matches and revenge. I’m a grown man, I don’t hold that stuff in my heart. I have a family and this is a business to me.
“When I was younger, I might have wanted to fight Conor or fight anybody who beat me. But I’m just comfortable with everything,” Poirier added. “I’m comfortable with my record, with the stuff that I’ve done, the fights I’ve done. The fights that I’ve lost, I learned my lessons and tried to keep moving forward. So I’d really like to be the first one to beat Khabib.”
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