Dustin Poirier remains one of the top lightweights in the world regardless of his loss to Justin Gaethje at UFC 291 but that doesn’t mean he’s just going to rush back to fight anybody the promotion throws at him.
After falling to Gaethje by knockout in the second round in the main event this past Saturday night, Poirier admitted that he’s not interested in “fighting just to fight” but adding that he feels great and still has “tread on the tires” as far as his career goes.
UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier, who called UFC 291 from Salt Lake City, understands why Poirier is conflicted about his future, especially now that his ultimate goal of becoming undisputed lightweight champion is likely out of reach at least without getting another couple of wins on his resume.
“I’ll be very interested to see what Dustin Poirier’s approach is now,” Cormier said on his YouTube channel. “Because I don’t think that Dustin Poirier is a guy that’s going to stick around just for the sake of fighting. I understand that he likes money but he’s already made a ton of it. I think Dustin Poirier wants to be a champion. So I don’t know what the future looks like for him.
“I hope he doesn’t walk away. I hope that he keeps fighting. Because I believe there are many more Dustin Poirier fights for people to see.”
Cormier has no doubt that Poirier will eventually bounce back from this defeat but it just remains to be seen if he’s interested in returning for another fight unless there’s a truly enticing offer out there for him.
Even Poirier stated after his loss that he passed on a previously offered matchup against fellow lightweight contender Beneil Dariush because he just didn’t get “excited” about it.
“Whoever watches and knows Dustin, he’ll be back from this,” Cormier said. “We have seen this man through his ups and downs and that’s one of the things about seeing a guy from the very start. We’ve seen him at the highest of highs and we’ve seen him at the lowest of lows.
“There’s much more for Dustin Poirier to accomplish but tonight belonged to Justin Gaethje.”
Regardless of his loss to Gaethje at UFC 291, Cormier still heaped praise on Poirier for everything he’s already accomplished in his career.
One knockout won’t define his career and Cormier knows Poirier remains a beloved fighter to the fans as well as a ferocious competitor in the cage.
“It was a hard one for me because Dustin Poirier is near and dear to my heart,” Cormier said. “A kid that grew up in Lafayette, La. and as I’ve said time and time again, we that grew up in small cities, sometimes we fall victim to what we believe we can achieve. Dustin Poirier never fell for that thought. He never fell for the idea that he was from Lafayette so in Lafayette we don’t know what we can become. He thought of the world as something he could conquer and he did absolutely that.
“He [beat] Conor McGregor twice, he fought for the UFC lightweight championship, he was the UFC interim champion and he is an absolute star. All week he was killed with applause and cheers and people loved him and they will love him even after this.”