Despite his world-class talent and mountains of confidence, Dustin Poirier was not able to defeat Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242. Though he had some success in the fight, he was ultimately submitted in the third round.
Poirier is not done and could conceivably earn another UFC title shot in the future, but he says he’ll be haunted by lingering questions from his fight with Nurmagomedov.
“I’m familiar with adversity,” Poirier said at the UFC 242 post-fight press conference (via MMA Fighting). “It’s just I have to live the rest of my life asking myself if I could have done more, if I could have maybe escaped some of those takedowns. If I could have pushed harder when I had my underhooks against the fence.
“Those are the questions that will haunt me. I’ve lost before.”
Dustin Poirier went on to praise Khabib Nurmagomedov, and share his belief that he might have performed better if the fight had gone on longer.
“The guy’s good, man. He’s the world champ,” he said. “Maybe I could have done more. You know, hindsight’s 20/20. I was very prepared for this fight, to fight 25 minutes. He did exactly what I thought he was going to do. Of course, I’m going to beat myself up and I’m the only one who has to deal with this, me and my family. I’m just wondering if maybe against the fence, when I got underhooks, if I could have tried a little bit harder to get off the fence maybe. But that’s just the questions that I’m going to have to live with for the rest of my life. I thought for sure he was winning the rounds. Taking me down and dominating, but I felt like he was squeezing hard, we were getting slicker, I felt like he was getting a little weaker.
“Coming into this fight I thought later in the third, fourth, and fifth were going to be my rounds,” Poirier added. “Not that I was planning on giving up the first two, but I knew they were gonna be tough. So coming back to the stool after each of those rounds, in the beginning I wasn’t getting damaged a whole lot with shots that were hurting, he cut me. I thought the deeper we got into the fight, the more slick I was gonna be able to be. That’s fighting, man, this stuff is tough.”
What did you think of the effort put forth by Dustin Poirier at UFC 242?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/8/2019.