Dustin Poirier Talks Justin Gaethje Loss, Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski II, And What’s Next

Dustin Poirier is waiting for a phone call from the UFC for an opponent that excites him.

Dustin Poirier
Dustin Poirier (Left), Justin Gaethje (Middle), and Islam Makhachev with Alexander Volkanovski (Right)(Images via Instagram @DustinPoirier @Justin_Gaethje @Islam_Makhachev)

Dustin Poirier recently discussed several topics, including his loss against Justin Gaethje, Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski II, and Volkanovski opening up on mental health. 

On July 29, ‘The Diamond’ was looking good against Justin Gaethje until the latter secured a stunning second-round head kick knockout win. The loss was a significant setback for Poirier’s undisputed title shot hopes, but he’s maintained a positive outlook on the situation. 

During an interview with MMA Mania, Poirier had this to say about his most recent fight:

“What I do is high risk, high reward, and anything can happen on any night. I knew that going into this fight [with Justin Gaethje]. That’s the reason I accepted this fight. I knew that he’s a dangerous opponent, and I knew anything can happen and that got me up in the morning. That’s what fighting is.”

Dustin Poirier was then asked when and who he plans to fight next in the Octagon. The former UFC interim lightweight world champion responded by saying: 

“I don’t really have a whole lot of plans. I’m just kind of sitting back, training, trying to remain a student. When the phone rings with the right name, I’ll know it’s the one. We’ll take it from there. So, I’m not trying to overplan or have this comeback story or anything like that.”

Dustin Poirier reacts to Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski II and the latter’s struggle with mental health

Last month, Islam Makhachev made a statement by knocking out Alexander Volkanovski in the first round of their short-notice rematch. The performance reminded the rest of the division, including Dustin Poirier, how well-rounded his skillset has become.

During the previously mentioned interview with MMA Mania, Poirier had this to say about Makhachev vs. Volkanovski II:

“Incredible performance by Islam and incredible self-belief and commitment from Alexander Volkanovski to take it on short notice and go out there and put it on the line in front of the world…We know that anything can happen at any time when we sign our names on those contracts against dangerous opponents, and the world is gonna be watching.”

Following UFC 294, Alexander Volkanovski opened up about how he needed to stay training and preparing for fights to control his mental health. Since then, plenty of fighters have come out and related to Volkanovski’s brave comments. 

Dustin Poirier had this to say about his experiences with mental health as a fighter: 

“I think every fighter who is all in has some sort of that going on. I’ve been vocal in public about it talking to Ariel Helwani and stuff before that if I’m not at war with a fight, if I’m not at war with something, I’m at war with myself. That’s the truth. Hearing [Volkanovski] say it reassures me that it’s not just me. That’s the competitive nature, that’s our mindset.”

There’s not much left for Dustin Poirier to accomplish in the UFC besides an undisputed world title. With that said, the 34-year-old seems content with prioritizing high-level fights that excite him over a path to a title shot that could involve challenging rising contenders.

Only time will tell what’s next for ‘The Diamond.’

Watch Dustin Poirier’s interview with MMA Mania below:

Published on November 3, 2023 at 6:53 pm
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