UFC lightweight Dustin Poirier believes that commissions should be preventing legends of the sport from competing in the cage beyond their means.
The discussion comes as talk of a return to action for Nick Diaz once again hits the surface. The Stockton native made his initial comeback after seven years away from action last September at the UFC 266 pay-per-view, held at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
In a rematch 17 years in the making, Diaz ran it back with former champion Robbie Lawler, whom he knocked out back at UFC 47 in 2004. This time, the fan favorite was to exit the Octagon after a very different performance.
While he perhaps showed glimpses of his entertaining standup arsenal, many believe that Diaz appeared slow and past his prime for the most part. He eventually lost the bout via TKO after failing to return to his feet following a third-round knockdown.
During a recent appearance of THE FIGHT with Teddy Atlas, former interim lightweight champion Poirier spoke about Diaz’s disappointing 2021 return.
After agreeing with co-host Ken Rideout that the welterweight veteran looked a shadow of his former self last September, “The Diamond” admitted that he hates to see legends of MMA compete in that shape.
“I know man, it sucks ’cause I’m such a big fan, such a big fan,” said Poirier. “To see legends go out there and not do themselves the right way like that, I just hate to see it. But that’s fighting.”
When asked why he thinks veterans continue in the sport past their prime, Poirier suggested that, as well as financial reasons, fighting has simply become a part of who they are, meaning they can’t let it go.
“They don’t know when to stop, they can’t stop, they won’t stop; they’re fighters. I think they’ve done it for so long, it’s become — it’s not just something they do anymore, it’s who they are… And I feel it in myself a little bit.”
With that in mind, the #2-ranked UFC lightweight believes that, in some instances, the decision should be taken out of fighters’ hands.
Poirier: Commissions Should Stop Some Legends Fighting
When asked whether the solution lies with commissions, Poirier suggested that the responsibility should lie with them, or specially created bodies, to determine when a fighter is not fit to compete and prevent them from doing so.
“I think there should be a governing body, a sanction, or whatever, to have the power to say, ‘No more,’ you know? ‘Cause, I mean, I’ve been to fights, boxing matches, where a guy has — they’re building up a fighter and they put him across the ring from a guy who shouldn’t be in there,” said Poirier.
“You just don’t wanna see this guy go down because one of these nights he goes down, he’s gonna leave something that he can’t get back… I think the commission should step in,” asserted Poirier.
It seems as if that will be the only thing preventing Nick Diaz from returning to the Octagon soon.
While talk of the Diaz brothers has largely surrounded Nate’s search for an opponent and pubic criticism of the UFC, Nick recently revealed his own plans to make the walk again later this year, even calling for a shot at Kamaru Usman’s title.
Do you agree with Dustin Poirier?