Here’s A Look At All The Losses of Dustin Poirier in His MMA Career

Published 06/22/2021, 3:25 PM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JUNE 27: (R-L) Dustin Poirier punches Dan Hooker of New Zealand in their lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on June 27, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)


UFC lightweight maestro Dustin Poirier is one of the greatest UFC fighters of all time. The American has been residing in the top tier of UFC for a while now. Looking at his caliber and longevity, his fans and the man himself would be a bit disappointed for not capturing the lightweight title.

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – SEPTEMBER 07: Dustin Poirier prepares to enter the Octagon prior to his lightweight championship bout against Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia during UFC 242 at The Arena on September 7, 2019 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

However, keeping that aside, the fighter has accumulated so many wins in his career that the few losses he has incurred look pale in front of it. But some of the losses have been significant. Let’s take a look at all the losses he has suffered during his entire MMA career.

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Dustin Poirier vs Danny Castillo- first loss for the ‘Diamond’

Poirier fought Castillo while he was applying his trade for local promotion. The match took place in August 2010.

Castillo started with a low inside kick right. Castillo then pushes Poirier into the fence and keeps him there. After some back and forth, Castillo caught Poirier with a punch on the head. But Poirier quickly escapes the danger. He goes for the knee, but Castillo defends well and finishes the round with hard blows.

Round 2 starts with Poirier taking an initial charge. He places some jabs that Castillo evades. The latter then goes for leg kicks. In the back and forth, Poirier loosely caught Castillo in the submission that almost ended the night for Castillo but he survived.

Round 3 saw both fighters settling for a grappling show. After some initial exchanges, Poirier applied a triangle choke, but Castillo wisely escaped and came on top of Poirier. He applied a choke of his own but Poirier survived till the bell rang.

In the end, Castillo edged ahead of Poirier and won via a unanimous decision.

First UFC defeat against ‘The Korean Zombie’

Poirier debuted for UFC at UFC 125 and went on to pick up 4 straight victories. His next matchup came against Chan Sung Jung at UFC on Fuel TV 3.

Jung started Round 1 with a much more technical game plan than he was known for. He Picked his spots and defended Poirier’s takedowns, ‘The Korean Zombie’ was capitalizing on Poirier’s mistakes and landed a few takedowns of his own.

The second round saw Jung using striking assaults with some spinning back fists, flying knees, and a barrage of strikes. He almost submitted Poirier with a triangle and armbar choke attempts but Poirier kept his composure and survived.

Realizing he is back foot ever since the match started, Poirier began positively in round 3. He knew Jung had weak cardio and thus he started his striking assault with swift movements. This round saw Poirier busting up Jung’s face with his striking.

The fourth started with both men using their wrestling game. Something which worked in the favor of Jung. After some back and forth, ‘The Korean Zombie’ caught Poirier in a brabo choke and it ultimately sealed the deal for him.

A hard-fought loss against Cub Swanson

Poirier came back strongly after losing against Jung. He defeated Jonathan Brookins at The Ultimate Finale season final.

His next match was against Cub Swanson at UFC on Fuel TV 7. Initially, Poirier rushed forward at Swanson with some striking, but Swanson thwarts his approach with punch combos. He lands some serious blows on Poirier and almost finishes him with a right but Poirier survives.

The assault from Swanson continued, but Poirier survived that round. The second round saw both fighters attacking leg kicks. One of those caught Swanson, and he landed on the canvas. But Poirier could not capitalize. In the end, Swanson threatened with a kimura lock, but Poirier survived till the bell rang.

The third round saw both fighters going back and forth. In a slight lack of concentration from Poirier, Swanson caught him in a sleeper. He maintained that position throughout and didn’t let Poirier get out of it.

In the end, there was no stoppage finish. But Swanson clearly was ahead of Poirier and he picked up a unanimous decision win.

Poirier vs McGregor 1- The beginning of an epic rivalry

McGregor was making his leaps into the world stage at that time. Poirier was also an emerging star. The UFC pitted them against each other at UFC 178. It was a featherweight clash as opposed to their current division. Poirier’s movement was linear and was predictable.

He was not able to break into McGregor’s guard. McGregor ducked an uppercut and connected some spin kicks. He then dropped his Poirier with a punch before pouncing for more offense to force the official to call it off in 46 seconds.

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Michael Johnson challenge for Dustin Poirier

After the loss against McGregor, Poirier quickly bounced back and picked up 4 consecutive victories. He looked to continue that momentum as he faced Johnson at UFC Fight Night 94.

Poirier was looking for a title fight opportunity with a win over Johnson. The latter was desperate for a win after some crucial losses against Nate Diaz and Beneil Dariush.

The fight started slowly, with neither man landing anything of note until, in the blink of an eye, Johnson dropped with a clean right hand. He followed him to the ground and unleashed a flurry of bludgeoning fists that badly hurt Poirier. The referee intervened and officially waved the fight off at 1:35 of Round 1.

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Fighting the undefeated fighter

Poirier entered the octagon for a title clash against the undisputed champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Their clash took place at UFC 242. ‘Diamond’ had defeated Holloway for an interim lightweight title fight. But he knew it was that title which Khabib held he had his eyes on.

Though Poirier defeated one of the greats of the game in Holloway, Khabib was on a different level altogether. The latter showed his mastery of the game as he continued to thwart Poirier’s striking game.

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‘The Eagle’ was always a step ahead of Poirier and used ground controls to utmost effect. In one moment of the game, Poirier caught Khabib in an attempted guillotine but the latter quickly thwarted this attempt. He then slipped back on Poirier and applied a rear-naked choke to put him to sleep.

Poirier (27-6) has shown time and time again that he is a constant learner. With Khabib now retired from the game, the UFC could see a new fighter charting up to the top. Don’t be surprised if it’s Poirier.

Can Dustin Poirier become a lightweight champion soon? What did you make of his losses?

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Akshyay Srichandan Mahapatra

425 articles

Akshyay Mahapatra is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He wished to combine his passion for the UFC (that he has been following since 2008) as well as his love for writing. This motivated him to enter the world of combat sports journalism.

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