Dustin Poirier made his UFC debut 10 years ago, defeating Josh Grispi at UFC 125 in what was his featherweight debut. From that night forward, his rollercoaster UFC journey has been filled with many ups and downs, and he is grateful for it all.
That said, there’s no denying that Poirier would prefer if this journey would have been paved in champion gold at some juncture. Unfortunately, he fell short in his two attempts at seizing that ultimate prize, first to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242 and then this past weekend to Charles Oliveira at UFC 269.
Appearing on The MMA Hour recently, Poirier was candid about one aspect of his UFC 269 performance that particularly bothered him.
“The second round, trying to get a stand-up instead of maybe attacking with my jiu-jitsu and trying to create space,” Poirier said. “Going into this fight, I thought that if I was put in a bad position, I was gonna hold it out and take over in the later rounds was my mindset.
“And obviously, [Referee Herb Dean] wasn’t gonna stand us up. And I just held on, kept holding on. I should’ve created space. I don’t know. Hindsight’s 20/20. There’s a lot of stuff I can say and look back on. And I’m not sure, but I’m just so much better than that. Everybody says that when they lose, but I know I am. It just sucks man because it’s one of those things, like, you maybe never get that opportunity again to call myself world champion. And to underperform?
“You know, I owed it to myself—this one was for me. It wasn’t for the money. It wasn’t for proving anything. It was for me. And I fuckin’ fumbled, man. It hurts.”
Dustin Poirier Reveals What Hurts The Most About UFC 269 Loss
Tactical analysis aside, the one thing that makes Poirier feel worse than anything else is the nonfulfillment of a post-fight moment he envisioned would last a lifetime for someone who means the world to him.
“The real thing that sucks for me, man, my daughter was there for this one,” an emotional Poirier said. “I really wanted to win and dedicate this world championship to my daughter and just show her that [Emotional Pause]—it hurts, man…” Poirier stated, unable to complete his thought.
“I really wanted to become the world champion and show tell that she can do anything she sets her heart out (to). That was important to me,” Poirier later concluded.
There is no doubt that Poirier’s daughter has a father she can be very proud of, regardless of a championship label or lack thereof being attached to the family name. In addition to the fact that he has proven to be an elite fighter regardless, his philanthropical work in and of itself is an even better example for his daughter to follow than any success in hand-to-hand combat.
Poirier’s The Good Fight Foundation continues to change lives across Louisiana and beyond, and that’s about as good an example as any father can hope to present to his child.
What do you believe the future holds for Dustin Poirier after his loss to Charles Oliveira at UFC 269?