Dustin Poirier Contemplates MMA Retirement, Would’ve Hung Up Gloves On UFC Title Win

"I'm leaning towards being done," Poirier said regarding his fighting days.

Dustin Poirier
Courtesy of @UFCNews on X

Dustin Poirier hasn’t made up his mind on retirement just yet.

The former UFC Interim Lightweight Champion could have very well fought his last fight at UFC 302, when he battled defending champ, the #1 pound-for-pound fighter on the planet Islam Makhachev. Unfortunately for Poirier, he wouldn’t New Jersey hearing “And New” as he was submitted by Makhachev in the fifth round to see him go 0-3 in title fights, falling short of the ultimate goal in the undisputed world championship.

‘I Can’t Say I’ll Never Fight Again…’

Many had thought Poirier, 35, would retire from MMA regardless of the result but Poirier didn’t lay down the gloves in the Octagon, leaving the door creaked open for another fight or two, if that’s what “The Diamond” so desires. 

“I’m never going to just lay my gloves down on the mat like that,” Poirier said on The MMA Hour. “Cause like I tell you every time, this could be my last fight. Every one for the past couple years, I felt like that. But, I don’t know and even being this far removed from the fight, I still don’t know. I’m kind of looking for clarity, searching myself and taking it one day at a time. I don’t know what’s next.

“I still don’t know. I can’t say I’ll never fight again, but I just don’t know the reason, what am I going to fight for? To get into a battle? I love that, but, man, I’ve taken some lumps over the years. It has to be for something, and maybe that’s something I’ll recognize that or realize that in the coming weeks. I don’t know. But, I’m just taking it one day at a time.”

Poirier Admits He’s In A ‘Weird Spot’ In His Career

Poirier’s been a part of the UFC roster since 2011 with 22 wins in the promotion since then. A world championship has always been on the top of the wishlist for the Louisiana native but some things in life are never meant to be. If the belt isn’t up for grabs for Poirier, there are still a lot of fun fights to be had for the fan-favorite. Though, Poirier has been in enough wars to know they’re not good for you.

“Yeah, I’m leaning towards being done,” Poirier on where he feels he’s at in his career. “[More so than ever] especially with getting the title fight. Like, how many more times would I need to fight to put myself back in position to fight for the world title? I’m not gonna do it again. I’m not gonna fight five more times trying to earn another title shot. I’m in a weird spot. I don’t know how to explain it or what decision to make, but I’m just kind of taking it day by day and seeing what, what comes with, with my mind changing and just to see how I feel.

“[My wife] feels the same because I brought it up a couple times since then, obviously, like, yeah, ‘maybe one more… maybe one more’. And she’s like, no, stop yet. You need to stop.”

What If?

What would get Dustin Poirier to make a complete full stop on his career? The former interim champ says undisputed status at UFC 302 would have done the trick, revealing the plan was to retire with a title win over Islam Makhachev.

“Yeah…. with the ultimate view,” Poirier said, when asked what he would’ve done, had he won UFC gold. “I was going to put the belt down with the gloves. Both of them.”


While it didn’t pan out that way, Poirier said: “This is my story. That happened the way it’s supposed to happen. For my journey, it’s been written already.”

Compare & Contrast

Dustin Poirier went up against a murderer’s row in the lightweight division, losing to some its best champions in Charles Oliveira, Islam Makhachev, and of course his predecessor Khabib Nurmagomedov— who shares a similar style to Makhachev. Poirier speaks to how they compare as he’s the only man to share the Octagon with the both of them.

“Takedowns are different, pressure is similar. Takedowns are a little different. He does a lot of upper body stuff. He kept trying to clinch up with me. Khabib would shoot lower shots. I think Khabib was stronger, physically stronger. Islam squeeze was incredible. The whole fight, he felt okay, all these guys are strong, but it wasn’t overwhelming. But his squeeze, that torque he got in that d’arce choke, and it was like a vice grip.”

Published on June 10, 2024 at 5:15 pm
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