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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Dustin Poirier after knockout loss at UFC 291?

UFC 291 went down this past weekend (Sat., July 29, 2023) inside Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, leaving plenty of fighters feeling the post-fight blues. Among them was Marcos Rogerio de Lima, who was knocked out by a resurgent Derrick Lewis in just 33 seconds (see it here). And Tony Ferguson, who suffered his sixth straight defeat after getting choked out by Bobby Green (video here).

But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now a few days removed from the show?

Dustin Poirier.

Coming into his rematch against Justin Gaethje, Poirier had an extra pep in his step because he already defeated “Highlight” five years earlier. Furthermore, “The Diamond” was coming off a nice submission win over Michael Chandler, and one more win would’ve earned him another trip to the big dance.

Unfortunately for the Louisiana native, Gaethje had his own championship dreams to reach and revenge on his mind. That proved to be a deadly combination because in round two of the rematch, Gaethje set up a beautiful head-kick that knocked his rival out cold (watch highlights).

But, like the true sportsman he is, Poirier dusted himself off to provide a statement to the media during UFC 291’s post-fight conference (watch it here).

“It sucks — losing sucks, but I’ve lost before,” he said. “It’s not cool to be acquainted with these feelings, but I’ve been here before. But, the career I’ve had and the fights I’ve had, where I’ve come from, I feel like I’ve already won. I’m just taking it minute by minute right now. If I win like a man, I’ve got to be able to lose like a man.

“It’s heartbreaking,” he continued. “But, I keep coming back like Pookie. It keeps calling me. I can’t stop. I might need another hit. I don’t know. I’m just taking it one day at a time, one minute at a time right now. But, I’m happy right now. My life is good, my family is good, my daughter is excited for me to get home. We’re not at a funeral here. I’ve won. I’ve won life. I already won. Where I come from, I’ve already won.”

Poirier also revealed that he isn’t interested in facing just anyone next, especially young up-and-comers who would be looking to build their name value with a win (or even put up a good fight in a loss) over such an established veteran.

“It’s just we’ll see,” Poirer told MMA Mania. “What am I fighting for? I’m not fighting just to fight — I did that my whole life. My whole life, I’ve done that. I don’t want to fight just to fight. I want it to be for something. And if it’s just another fight, you know, [shakes his head].”

As far as what could realistically be next for the former interim Lightweight champion, he is still a player in the division and two more huge wins gets him back into the title picture, so let’s not write him off just yet.

A fight against Beneil Dariush could be in order because he is also coming off a tough loss after he was choked out by Charles Oliveira last month. Ranked No. 4, Dariush was on an eight-fight win streak prior to his loss and would have been fighting for the belt had he defeated “Do Bronx.”


For complete UFC 291 results, coverage and highlights click HERE.

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