UFC on ESPN 12 last weekend featured the much anticipated return of former interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier.
‘The Diamond’ went to a 25 minute back and forth war with equally game opponent, Dan Hooker. Poirier was struggling in the initial rounds, however gained his rhythm in the later rounds as he defeated Hooker via unanimous decision.
The fight can even potentially be a ‘Fight of the year’ candidate. Reflecting back on his illustrious career, Poirier revealed the turning point of his career. He attributed his success to a 2014 loss against former double champ and superstar ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor. Speaking in an interview with ESPN, he addressed the issue.
“It definitely started happening after the Conor McGregor loss,” Poirier told ESPN about his evolution as a fighter and emergence as an honest, brass tacks personality. “That was the start of it. It’s been a long process, being a father, losing again, winning some and losing again, and winning another one. It’s just a long evolution of stop caring so much. You just stop caring about the noise and stuff that doesn’t matter.”
Poirier grew both mentally and physically!
“A lot of times in my younger career, I felt like it was life or death. Every comment on Instagram and Twitter, every journalist who said something, I felt like everybody was against me. I felt like if I lost I would be written off, it’s the end of my career. I’m a bum if I lose this fight. And then you lose a few times and you’re like, ‘Oh sh*t, I can still put this back together.
Poirier after losing to McGregor:
The stats do back Poirier‘s assessment. He has been nothing but spectacular since losing against McGregor. The loss first inspired a move up to lightweight. Despite being the most stacked division in the UFC, he put together an impressive record of 10-2-1 till date. One of his loss being against current champ Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Poirier’s impressive stint also includes a four-fight winning streak over former and current world champions with three of them being finishes. The streak also earned him his interim lightweight belt.