Dustin Poirier is haunted by a crucial error he made in his 2019 lightweight title fight with unbeaten Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Poirier challenged Nurmagomedov for the lightweight belt in the main event of UFC 242, and ultimately came up short via submission. However, at one point in the early phases of the match, he threatened the champion with a tight guillotine choke.
While Nurmagomedov ultimately escaped that choke, Poirier believes he was incredibly close to ending the fight, and might have actually done so had he maneuvered differently or rolled into position for another type of choke.
“I just know how close it was,” Poirier told Joe Rogan on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast. “A game of inches, and I know how close it was. What haunts me more than [not pulling] full guard is me not switching to a D’Arce or anaconda [choke] when he rolled to his side.”
While Poirier believes he might have beaten Nurmagomedov had he approached the situation, he has unending respect for the unbeaten Russian, who announced his retirement last October.
Poirier says he was particularly impressed with Nurmagomedov’s understanding of position and balance.
“I don’t know if he’s the strongest guy I ever fought,” Poirier said. “It’s just his understanding of balance and weight placement was incredible. I’ve been fighting and wrestling a long time, as well, but he just knew where my weight was and where it needed to be for me to stay up with his foot trips. It’s hard to explain, man, but he’s good.”
After losing to Nurmagomedov, Dustin Poirier rebounded with a decision win over Dan Hooker and a career-changing knockout win over Conor McGregor. On the heels of those wins, he seems to be positioned for a shot at the vacant lightweight title once Nurmagomedov’s retirement is accepted by the UFC.This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM