Dustin Poirier gets a second shot at gold at UFC 269 this Saturday, two years on from his title fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Poirier (28-6, 1NC), then holding an interim belt, came up short against Khabib. How are things different this time around?
“If I didn’t advance in the last few years since that title fight, then I wasted two years. I think I’m a better fighter, more well-rounded, and just a little bit better mentally,” Poirier said during Thursday’s UFC 269 pre-fight press conference. “In that fight with Khabib when I got up and exposed my neck, maybe losing the round and taking that a little bit slower instead of losing the fight would have been a smarter decision. Just be smarter in my movements. I’ve got a lot of experience, and that was another huge learning moment for me.”
“There’s so much going on at all times in there, and small mistakes, small slip-ups like that can be detrimental.”
He’ll look to avoid such slip-ups in a fight against Charles Oliveira that he now sees as 25 minutes for eternity. And despite such poetic descriptors, Poirier isn’t letting this fight define his career.
“Nothing that I’ve done from the moment that I’ve laced up a pair of boxing gloves, the moment I put on a pair of mixed martial arts gloves and hit the mats, ever has been done in vain,” he stated. “I’ve created a beautiful life for my family, I’ve learned so much about myself through the process, and these lessons I’ve learned, I’m very grateful for.”
But having said all that, “being the world champion is forever,” Poirier admitted. “25 til eternity, that’s what’s going through my head every night when I go to sleep.”
Dustin Poirier returns to challenge lightweight champ Charles Oliveira in the main event of UFC 269 this Saturday, December 11 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV.