Dustin Poirier explains how Conor McGregor loss changed him

Dustin Poirier, UFC 236
Image: @dustinpoirier

UFC lightweight contender Dustin Poirier says a 2014 knockout loss to Conor McGregor had a significant affect on his evolution as a fighter.

Speaking to ESPN this week, Poirier explained how his mentality changed and matured after his loss to McGregor.

“It definitely started happening after the Conor McGregor loss,” Poirier said. “That was the start of it. It’s been a long process, being a father, losing again, winning some and losing again, and winning another one. It’s just a long evolution of stop caring so much. You just stop caring about the noise and stuff that doesn’t matter. . .

“A lot of times in my younger career, I felt like it was life or death,” Poirier added. “Every comment on Instagram and Twitter, every journalist who said something, I felt like everybody was against me. I felt like if I lost I would be written off, it’s the end of my career. I’m a bum if I lose this fight. And then you lose a few times and you’re like, ‘Oh sh*t, I can still put this back together. Oh man, I’m still providing for my family. I’m still loving what I do.’ It’s like you’ve been bent but not broken a lot of times and I feel like it made me stronger and it made me the man I am today. I’m happy. I’m genuinely happy.”

Dustin Poirier is coming off a thrilling decision victory over Dan Hooker in the main event of UFC on ESPN 12 last weekend. In the wake of this win, which stands out as one of the best fights of the year, Poirier says he’s still focused on winning the undisputed lightweight title, and that he’s open to suggestions for his next fight, so long as he’s compensated properly.

“I’m gonna take some time for sure to let my body heal,” Poirier said. “Next week I’m taking my family on a small vacation, just right here to Florida, nothing crazy. Just get some sun, get some beach time, and just relax. Let my mind relax, and we’ll see. I’m definitely not gonna fight back far. I think they just moved me up in the rankings now. Of course, I want to be the undisputed world champion but we’ll see when the UFC calls me, we’ll see what happens. Money talks.”