Dustin Poirier explains why rematching Conor McGregor is so important to him

Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier

UFC lightweight contender Dustin Poirier explained why a rematch against superstar Conor McGregor is so important to him.

Poirier and McGregor first met back in September 2014 at UFC 178. At the time, both men were competing in the UFC featherweight division. Though Poirier was riding a hot streak heading into that contest, he suffered his first career knockout loss when McGregor stopped him with strikes in the first round. That fight turned out to be the last time Poirier competed at 145lbs, at he moved up to 155lbs in 2015 and hasn’t looked back.

At lightweight Poirier has become one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the sport. “The Diamond” is 10-2, 1 NC at 155lbs with eight post-fight bonus awards. Safe to say that the loss to McGregor, though devastating at the time, was ultimately for the best as the loss there convinced Poirier that moving up in weight would be best for him. It’s at lightweight where Poirier became a true superstar and even an interim UFC champion.

Six years after their first encounter, Poirier will get the opportunity to face McGregor for a second time when he fights him in the main event of a UFC pay-per-card on January 23 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Most fans and media assume that Poirier is looking for revenge against McGregor in the rematch. But according to Poirier, it’s not about that at all. In fact, for Poirier, it’s about something much deeper than just avenging the loss.

Taking to his social media on Friday night, Poirier explained why the rematch with McGregor means so much to him. Here’s what “The Diamond” wrote on his Twitter.

This rematch isn’t about getting even. It’s about getting where I belong. It is payback, but to myself. I owe this victory to me. #PaidInFull

Poirier has been hard on himself over the first fight with McGregor, as he believes that he made mistakes in that fight that led to him getting finished. So for Poirier, the rematch isn’t just about getting even with McGregor at 1-1. It’s also about proving to himself that he isn’t the same fighter he was back then. He’s a different fighter now and he owes it to himself to go out there and get his hand raised and prove to himself he can hang with McGregor. On January 23, Poirier will get the opportunity to do just that.

Who do you think wins the rematch between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor?