‘It’s a Tough Pill to Swallow’- Dustin Poirier on His Fight Against Khabib Nurmagomedov

Published 11/29/2021, 4:45 AM EST
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – SEPTEMBER 07: Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia compete against Dustin Poirier of United States in their Lightweight Title Bout during the UFC 242 event at The Arena on September 07, 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

UFC lightweight contender Dustin Poirier spoke to MMA Fighting in the lead-up to his fight against Charles Oliveira. ‘The Diamond’ has a chance to finally get his hands on the undisputed UFC lightweight strap, an accomplishment that has eluded him thus far. Despite having a crack at unifying his interim title against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242, he ultimately fell short.

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The loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov was more impactful than perhaps even Poirier initially led on. In a candid moment during his interview, he revealed how the defeat at the very summit of his career made him question everything. He felt that he had blown the sometimes ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that an undisputed title shot ends up being.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – SEPTEMBER 06: Khabib Nurmagomedov (red) in action against Dustin Poirier (blue) during UFC Lightweight Championship match at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on September 6, 2019.
(Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

“Like a reality that hit me – this could have been it, this could have been the chance, and I just blew it,” he said. “When all the cameras go away, when all the music stops playing, when you’re by yourself and you look in the mirror after a fight like that, or you go take a shower and reality sets in, it’s a tough pill to swallow sometimes.”

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There’s no quit in Dustin Poirier

Despite feeling down and out, Poirier also said that he was present enough to snap himself out of it. In fact, that seemingly played a large part in the way that he has managed to successfully rebound from the devastating loss at UFC 242. Not to mention, he managed to scale the mountain once again and found himself in a second undisputed title fight.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – SEPTEMBER 07: (L-R) Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia battles Dustin Poirier in their lightweight championship bout 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)

“I’ve just got to slap myself around and say, ‘Hey, don’t talk to yourself like that,’” Poirier said. “But that’s the thing we’re constantly doing, or I’m constantly doing, not just in fighting, but in business, everything.

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“Hey, this is all going to work out. But at the same time, when thoughts do creep in like that, I’m thankful for the journey, honestly. The obstacle is the way. That’s the beauty of what we do.” [h/t MMA Fighting]

Poirier has been a force at lightweight and he’ll want to cap off the year with a third straight victory. However, ‘Do Bronx’ is certainly going to throw everything but the kitchen sink at Poirier to ensure that does happen.

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Darryl Pinto

2137 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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