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Poirier: UFC lightweight title ‘not even one-third of my base salary’ for Conor McGregor fight

Pretty much the same reason every UFC fighter is chasing after that Jake Paul payout.

Dustin Poirier avenged his loss to Conor McGregor in the UFC 257 main event and with that career-defining victory, had an opportunity to compete for the 155-pound title and carve his name into the annals of championship history.

Instead, “The Diamond” will complete his “Notorious” trilogy at UFC 264.

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UFC’s 2023 PPV DEBUT! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) kicks off its New Year pay-per-view (PPV) campaign on Sat., Jan. 21, 2023, with a battle for the vacant Light Heavyweight crown between former champion and No. 2-ranked contender, Glover Teixeira, looking to stop the momentum of surging No. 7-seeded up-and-comer, Jamahal Hill. In the co-main event of UFC 283, which will take place inside Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, one of the greatest rivalries in promotional history resumes as Flyweight kingpin, Deiveson Figueiredo, battles interim belt keeper, Brandon Moreno, for a fourth (and likely final) time.

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That’s because Poirier has bills to pay and a family to feed, so without throwing any disrespect to reigning 155-pound titleholder Charles Oliveira, “The Diamond” opted to run it back with McGregor for more than three times the salary.

“Me fighting for the belt, I wouldn’t have got pay-per-view [points],” Poirier told ESPN (transcribed by Tristen Critchfield). “I’d have gotten a base salary of probably not even a third of my base salary for this fight. It just doesn’t make sense. I’m a prize fighter. If I’m gonna make five, six, seven, 10 times the amount of money to fight, I’m a father, I’m a husband and I have priorities.”

One of those priorities is keeping the “Good Fight” afloat, though it doesn’t seem like his charity is short on donations, even without help from McGregor. And if “The Diamond” is able to win this Sat. night (July 10, 2021) inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, he’ll still get his shot at the lightweight title.

But even if Poirier bets on himself and loses, he still wins the pot.

“If I am the best in the world, then I’m gonna beat Conor and fight for the belt. It’s like doubling down on yourself,” Poirier continued. “I’m a gambling man. I believe in my skills and fighting. So I just doubled down. That’s what it was.”

We’ll see if the bet pays off this weekend in “Sin City.”

For much more on UFC 264: “Poirier vs. McGregor 3” be sure to check out our official UFC 264 news archive by clicking here. For the complete UFC 264 fight card and PPV lineup spread across Fight Pass, ESPN+, and ESPN click here.

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