It’s been nothing short of a rollercoaster of emotions for Dustin Poirier over the past few days.
After a seemingly focused lead-up to his UFC 242 clash with Khabib Nurmagomedov, Poirier (25-6 MMA, 18-6 UFC) was submitted in the third round Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
A tearful post-fight news conference was followed by a since-deleted Instagram story posted by Poirier in which he deemed his fighting future uncertain. Now, Poirier seemingly is leaning towards sticking around and has a particular fight in mind.
“I think me and Conor running it back makes a lot of sense at this point,” Poirier said.
The first meeting between Poirier and McGregor took place at featherweight in September 2014. After a heated series of interviews and news conferences prior to the UFC 178 bout, McGregor finished Poirier with punches at the 1:46 mark of the first round.
The defeat snapped a three-fight winning streak for Poirier, while it elevated McGregor one step closer to his eventual UFC title and status as the sport’s biggest star.
As his career has progressed, Poirier credited the loss to McGregor for his upped level of maturity and evolved fight mentality.
“I used to overthink a lot,” Poirier told MMA Junkie in September 2015, one year after UFC 178. “In that Conor fight, with the mental warfare that kind of went on, it made me think more. It sounds like a cliche, but I’ve always cared too much about this.”
Since that first meeting, Poirier has lost just two out of 12 fights. Conversely, McGregor has lost two out of six, with an additional loss coming to Floyd Mayweather in boxing in August 2017.
McGregor, a former two-division champion, has not competed since a loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in October 2018. While he has dealt with his share of legal issues since that time, McGregor recently stated he’s focused on a UFC return.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
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