Dustin Poirier gets a second chance for gold at UFC 269 this Saturday, two years after his title fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Poirier (28-6, 1NC), then holder of an interim belt, failed against Khabib. How are things different this time around?
“If I haven’t made any headway in the last few years since that title fight, then I’ve lost two years. I think I’m a better fighter, more complete and just a little bit better mentally, ”Poirier said at the UFC 269 pre-fight press conference on Thursday. “In that fight with Khabib when I got up and exposed my neck, maybe losing the sleeve and slowing down a bit instead of losing the fight would have been a smarter decision. Just be smarter in my skills. I have a lot of experience, and it was another great learning moment for me.
“There is so much going on all the time in this, and little mistakes, little mistakes like this can be damaging.”
He will seek to avoid such mistakes in a fight against Charles Oliveira which he now considers 25 minutes to eternity. And despite such poetic descriptors, Poirier does not let this fight define his career.
“Nothing I’ve done since the moment I put on a pair of boxing gloves, the moment I put on a pair of mixed martial arts gloves and hit the mats, did has never been done in vain, ”he said. “I created a great life for my family, I learned so much about myself in the process, and these lessons that I learned, I am very grateful.”
But that said, “being world champion is forever,” admitted Poirier. “25 to eternity is what goes through my mind every night when I fall asleep. “
Dustin Poirier returns to challenge lightweight champion Charles Oliveira in the main event of UFC 269 this Saturday, December 11 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV.