Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

From near retirement to UFC 302 title shot

By Vaseline May31,2024

Dustin Poirier
Black Belt Plus

The first half of 2024 has unfolded in unexpected ways for Dustin Poirier, the former interim lightweight champion.

After a July 2023 loss to Justin Gaethje, Poirier considered retiring. However, in March he made a surprise return to the ring, accepting a fight against the lesser known but skilled Benoit Saint Denis.

Poirier managed to overcome the French fighter’s early challenges and secure a second-round victory. For Justin Poirier, the victory paved the way for a title shot against reigning champion Islam Makhachev at UFC 302 in Newark, New Jersey. Reflecting on his journey, Poirier admits he never anticipated this dramatic turn of events. “Last year it felt like the end of the world, and this year I’m on a high,” he said, highlighting the unpredictable nature of the sport.

Despite having a difficult opponent in Makhachev, Poirier remains determined. His career was marked by his refusal to accept defeat and his willingness to take on any challenge.

“I hate losing and I work so hard and I believe I can beat anyone in the world,” he stated.

As Poirier prepares for what could be one of the defining fights of his career, he remains focused on his goals. Winning the Undisputed Title would not only mark a significant achievement in his professional life, but also cement his legacy, potentially securing his place in the UFC Hall of Fame.

Poirier is also thinking about his future outside of fighting. While a lucrative rematch with Conor McGregor might tempt some, Poirier is clear about his priorities: “I want to be a father, a husband, I want to be home with my family having a barbecue. I want a regular schedule. I want a burger again.”

His ultimate goal is to find contentment and reflect on a career that has had its highs and lows. This fight against Makhachev could be the perfect climax to his legendary journey in MMA.

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