“If I am the best in the world, then I’m gonna beat Conor and fight
for the belt. It’s like doubling down on yourself,” Poirier told
“I’m a gambling man. I believe in my skills and fighting. So I just
doubled down. That’s what it was.”
It seemed like a virtual certainty that “The Diamond” would be next
in line to fight for the vacant lightweight crown after defeating
McGregor via second-round technical knockout at UFC 257 in January.
However, Poirier opted for the trilogy with the Irish star over a
title bout, and Charles
Oliveira claimed the throne with a stoppage of Michael
Chandler at UFC 262.
“I don’t know how much you want to get into the actual contractual
stuff with this, but me fighting for the belt, I wouldn’t have got
pay-per-view [points]. I”d have got a base salary of probably not
even a third of my base salary for this fight,” Poirer said. “It
just doesn’t make sense. I’m a prize fighter. … If I’m gonna make
five, six, seven, 10 times the amount of money to fight, I’m a
father, I’m a husband and I have priorities.”
When Poirier and McGregor initially squared off at UFC 178 in 2014,
the SBG Ireland representative was able to get into his opponent’s
head, and that led to a first-round stoppage victory. The two
rivals were much more cordial leading up to the rematch, however,
but Poirier expects that McGregor might change his approach during
UFC 264 fight week.
“The good thing about this one is if it’s crazy Conor again, I just
don’t give a f—k anymore,” Poirier said. “I really don’t care. And
in the last one too, if he’d have been crazy, I’d have been all
right … I think it’s gonna be crazy Conor again, I’m pretty sure.
How crazy can you be? You got knocked out last time. We put you on
airplane mode in front of the world, in Abu Dhabi. What can you
Poirier’s outlook on the trilogy fight aligns with the common
opinion. If McGregor is unable to get the quick finish, Poirier
expects he’ll be able to impose his will the longer it goes.
“If I was [Conor
McGregor], I would try to touch me early and keep me out of
rhythm,” Poirier said. “Because if this thing starts to blossom
into a fight — second, third, fourth [round] — we start hurting in
there, we start having to grind it out, we start getting a rhythm,
I win that fight 10 out of 10 times.”
Dustin Poirier Says He Would’ve Made Fraction of UFC 264 Pay for Lightweight Title Bout
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