UFC Lightweight Dustin Poirier Looking to Add to Legacy: “I’m on the Back Nine”

Former UFC interim lightweight champ Dustin Poirier speaks on Good Fight Foundation, legacy fights.

Dustin Poirier is in Uncasville, Connecticut this weekend for Bellator 243, where he’s cornering teammate Sabah Homasi. Poirier and Homasi are members of the well-respected American Top Team, a close-knit family that has the names to back it up. Homasi takes on Curtis Millender this Friday on the Bellator card.

“Sabah’s a hard worker, a great teammate,” Poirier told Cageside Press. “He has been helping me the past few camps. He would drop anything to come spar, to come wrestle, just a good teammate. The type of people you want to be around.”

Poirier is coming off his Fight of the Year contender versus Dan Hooker, a five round war which Poirier won via unanimous decision. Following his loss against champion Khabib Numagomedov, The Louisiana native says it feels good to be back in the win column. Especially after serious hip surgery.

“It feels great to be back in the win column. To be the victor, get my hand raised, bring the checks back home to my family. It’s just hard work paying off,” Poirier explained. After the Kabib loss and surgery, “it was a long road back just to be able to start a training camp, much less go through the training camp. But I persevered, pushed forward, had a great camp, and put on a great performance again. Hooker, the guy was game, showed up. I’m very proud of that whole journey and the fight itself.”

Poirier finds himself in a unique position: a win over Hooker in theory puts Poirier in position for a rematch title fight. With Khabib focused on Justin Gaethje, Tony Ferguson recovering and Conor McGregor in limbo, “The Diamond” is unsure who is next for him. All that is known is it will be a fight to continue his  already impressive legacy.

“There’s no rush, going to take my time,” Poirier told us. “I know the next one will be a big one. Whether it’s Tony [Ferguson], I’m waiting on the UFC to give me a call and let me know what’s up. I’m next in line now in the rankings, with a win over the current interim champ. So we’ll see what happens. If Justin goes out there and wins the fight [with Khabib], I think the rematch makes a lot of sense. I also think the Conor fight makes a lot of sense. I’m down for a big fight, or a fight that’s going to work on my legacy.”

Legacy is important for the former Interim Lightweight Champion of the world. A fighter’s legacy is what is left behind when they walk off into the sunset of their respective careers. Poirier is focused on choosing what is right for his legacy when Dana White comes calling.

“I’m on the back nine of my career,” Poirier explained. “I’m still a young man, I’m 31 but I’ve been doing this a long time. I have 40-something fights in mixed martial arts. I just want the last years to be my best years, and put on some great fights. And I want them to mean something. The next 3 or 4 years that I do fight, I want to put everything into every fight. Not that I don’t [now], I just want it to mean a lot.”

While a dominant fighter in the cage, Poirier has many important aspects of life outside of the cage. Being a father and husband are the top priority, but his charitable foundation is just as important as his fighting legacy. The Good Fight Foundation started out as an idea of Dustin and his wife Jolie to gather donations for local Louisiana initiatives. Now it’s a worldwide charitable dream for the pair.

“We have helped so many people. To know the people we have helped, to go across the world and reach goals its amazing,” Poirier said. “The community and the public have gotten behind us, we are doing great things. I’m just proud to be in a position to do good. It’s amazing.”

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