Dustin Poirier recounts nearly submitting Khabib Nurmagomedov: “It was as close as it can get”

Khabib Nurmagomedov, Dustin Poirier
Image Credit: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Dustin Poirier came up short in his bid to swipe the UFC lightweight title from Khabib Nurmagomedov back in September. That being said, he did have a brief moment of success against the champ, threatening with a deep guillotine choke mid-way through the fight.

Speaking on a recent edition of the UFC Unfiltered podcast, Poirier looked back on the moment that he almost submitted Nurmagomedov.

“It was close,” Poirier said. “It was as close as it can get. I would have finished a lot of guys in the UFC with that choke — a lot of guys. And I finish a lot of guys in the gym, all the time.

“Doing jiu jitsu as long as you have, and just having a feel, if there’s a centimetre of space where [Nurmagomedov] can roll his hips to the mat and just create a little bit of space and a little bit of breathing space… I should have went full guard,” Poirier continued. “I should have controlled his whole body and his hips. I could have really folded him over there if I had really went full guard. Simple things like that which would have finished 90 percent of the guys — that ten percent or five percent that Khabib is in, you just don’t finish guys with that.

“It has to be perfect, and it’s my fault,” Poirier concluded. “It’s a lag and a mistake in technique and it’s all on me.”

Dustin Poirier has not fought since his failed bid to dethrone Khabib Nurmagomedov. While he was expected to return to action against Dan Hooker at the upcoming UFC San Diego card, that bout has been thrust into jeopardy by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. He and Hooker seem willing to duke it out when the crisis subsides. 

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/27/2020.