Dustin Poirier has reflected on the heartbreak he felt in his first UFC title shot ahead of the chance at redemption he has against Charles Oliveira.
‘Diamond’ suffered a submission defeat at the hands of Khabib Nurmagomedov two years ago and thought he might have blown his only chance at having the belt wrapped around his waist.
Since then, he has been on an incredible run, beating all comers and earning a shot at the Brazilian on December 11.
Dustin Poirier is preparing to fight Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title at UFC 269
Poirier admitted he was heartbroken after losing against Khabib in his last title shot
‘After the Khabib fight, I was beat up and heartbroken,’ he said on the MMA Hour.
‘I felt like the stars were aligning, and I feel like I have another opportunity here where the stars are aligning, and I’ve put myself in the position to really go out there and say I did it.
‘Like a reality that hit me – this could have been it, this could have been the chance, and I just blew it.
‘When all the cameras go away, when all the music stops playing, when you’re by yourself and you look in the mirror after a fight like that, or you go take a shower and reality sets in, it’s a tough pill to swallow sometimes.’
And he admitted there are moments when doubts creep in, continuing: ‘I’ve just got to slap myself around and say, “Hey, don’t talk to yourself like that.”
‘But that’s the thing we’re constantly doing, or I’m constantly doing, not just in fighting, but in business, everything.
Oliveira is making his first title defence against arguably a tougher opponent than the one he won the belt against earlier this year in Michael Chandler
‘Hey, this is all going to work out. But at the same time, when thoughts do creep in like that, I’m thankful for the journey, honestly. The obstacle is the way. That’s the beauty of what we do.’
And over the course of five rounds, the Louisiana native believes he will have too much for Oliveira, who won the belt in his clash with Michael Chandler earlier this year.
Poirier added: ‘Twenty-five minutes is too long to fight with me and not get hit with a shot, not get put in a bad position.’
The challenger is still only 32 but has achieved so much and his two wins this year against Conor McGregor have elevated him to another level.
All that remains now is for him to bag the belt to banish the ghosts of that first title defeat two years ago.
Poirier added he has no plans on retiring after UFC 269 with a fourth McGregor fight mooted
Rodrigo Bentancur set to return on New Year’s Day as Tottenham are handed a fitness boost
Cristiano Ronaldo had JUST TEN touches during Portugal’s 1-0 World Cup defeat to Morocco
World Cup state-of-play in all eight groups: Tables, fixtures, results, permutations