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What’s next for Dustin Poirier after loss to Charles Oliveira at UFC 269?

UFC 269: Oliveira v Poirier Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC

UFC 269 went down last Sat. night (Dec. 11, 2021) inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring an action-packed night of dominant wins, epic knockouts and bookie-busting upsets to close out the promotion’s pay-per-view (PPV) slate for the year.

Plenty of fighters were left feeling the post-fight blues, including championship co-headliner Amanda Nunes. “Lioness” lost her status as “champ-champ” after dropping her bantamweight title to Julianna Pena, who forced the Brazilian to tap to a rear-naked choke (see it).

And former 135-pound kingpin Cody Garbrandt, who was knocked out by Kai Kara France in his flyweight debut, giving him his fifth loss in last six fights (recap). But which fighter is suffering from one of the worst post-fight hangovers, now a few days removed from the show?

Dustin Poirier.

Over two years removed from his submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov, Poirier blasted his way back to the big dance, earning the opportunity to become the undisputed champion of the division. Poirier previously tasted UFC gold before, though that was on an interim basis. While an impressive feat, that’s not why “The Diamond” got into the fight game.

Poirier started off strong, pushing the pace and tagging Charles Oliveira early on, dropping “Do Bronx” on a few occasions along the way. In the process, the Louisianan took some of the champ's best shots, as well. Early in round three, Poirier found himself with a human anaconda wrapped around his back. At that point most everyone knew what was coming next because Oliveira has made a living suffocating people, winning 19 of his fights via submission, 16 of them by some form of a choke.

A few moments later, Oliveira had his twentieth submission win, forcing Poirier to tap to a (you guessed it) standing rear-naked choke. For Poirier, it’s only his second loss in five years, but they were both championship fights.

The defeat leaves him in limbo as to what he wants to do moving forward in his combat sports career.

“I can do anything I put my mind to. I can fight for another belt. I can go on another streak. I can claw and climb,” said Poirier about working his way back to a title fight. “Get back to wherever I want to be. It’s just ... do I want to? That’s the question I have to look in the mirror and answer. Do I want to do it again, do I want to go down that road again.

“And that answer will come in the next couple days, next couple of weeks. Just have to let this pass and see what’s next for me. But if it’s in my heart and that’s what I want to do, I’ll be back in here fighting for another world title.”

If after a few weeks Poirier decides he wants to keep chugging along, perhaps a fight against Michael Chandler is in order. Chandler also has a loss to Oliveira and was most recently seen falling to Justin Gaethje. A win against Chandler would be a great way for Poirer to expedite the healing process and begin his road back to yet another title fight.

If Poirier doesn’t believe that fight helps his bottom line, then why not re-book him to fight Nate Diaz? “The Diamond” was forced out of their first bout due to injury, and the two have been taking shots at one another ever since. It’s an easy sell and a challenge that would get both competitors up in the morning.

For complete UFC 269 results and coverage click here.

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