Dustin Poirier still confident he can beat Khabib Nurmagomedov

Earlier this month, in the main event of UFC 242, Dustin Poirier attempted to swipe the lightweight title from the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov. Unfortunately for Poirier and his team, this mission didn’t go as planned. Instead, he was forced to tap out to a third-round rear-naked choke.

Despite this setback against the champ, Poirier is still confident he has the ability to beat the champion. He attributes his loss to Nurmagomedov to his own performance more than anything else.

“He is a special individual, but I can beat him,” Poirier said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday (via MMA Mania). “I just let myself down that night and it sucks.”

Dustin Poirier continued, explaining that he’s determined to work his way back to another shot at lightweight gold.

“I promise you I am going to rise again and I am going to get my hand raised, beat who I have to beat and I will be back,” Poirier said. “I’ll be knocking on that door again, I just hate to have to dust myself off over and over again, but this is my story.”

“This is my path. I don’t try to look for an explanation as to why this happened. I know I am one of the best in the world, and when it all does finally come together, It is going to be beautiful and it’s my story. It’s a love and hate relationship. Sometimes I love this so much and sometimes I hate it. It’s something that keeps breaking your heart but you keep going back to it. I can’t stop and I will not stop. I know have greatness in me, and I just have to show the world, keep rising.”

Do you think Dustin Poirier could defeat Khabib Nurmagomedov in a rematch?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/17/2019. 

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Khabib Nurmagomedov auctions Dustin Poirier’s t-shirt for hefty price

Shortly after Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier fought at UFC 242, they exchanged Reebok t-shirts. Nurmagomedov subsequently announced his intention to auction off Poirier’s shirt and donate the proceeds to Poirier’s charity, The Good Fight, which is currently working in conjunction with Justin Wren’s charity, Fight for the Forgotten.

In the end, Nurmagomedov was able to auction Poirier’s shirt off for a hefty $100,000, which will now be donated to the aforementioned causes. Poirier shared this exciting news with MMA Junkie on Monday.

“It’s great because it’s going to help a lot of people,” Poirier said. “I’m proud of that. I appreciate them helping out the charity. It’s been growing and I’m very grateful for that.”

Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Dustin Poirier with a third-round rear-naked choke, dashing the American’s dreams of becoming a UFC champ for the time being. That being said, his post-fight gesture reaffirmed what was clear from the get-go: that there is no bad blood between the two fighters.

This isn’t where the good news ends for Poirier, either. UFC President Dana White announced after UFC 242 that he planned to match whatever Khabib Nurmagomedov was able to get for the shirt.

These funds will benefit the Batwa Pygmy people of Uganda through Fight for the Gotten. Here’s how The Good Fight’s official website explains the goal.

For our next fight we have joined forces with Fight For The Forgotten (FFTF), a nonprofit working to empower those who don’t have a voice, to help the Batwa Pygmy children of Uganda.

A recent torrential flood ruined the only clean source of water their village’s school and nearby orphanage had. Together, The Good Fight and FFTF, are setting a main crowdfunding goal of $25,000 which will build a new deep well, solar-operated pumping system, and water tower that will completely transform the way they receive safe and clean water for the school’s students, staff, and surrounding community.

The secondary stretch goal of $50,000 would allow for the charities to drill another six water wells equipped with hand pumps for the neighboring community and serve thousands more with life-saving and life-giving water. 

Needless to say, with the help of his latest foe Khabib Nurmagomedov, Dustin Poirier has surpassed his goal by a huge margin.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/16/2019.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov nets $100k for Dustin Poirier’s UFC 242 fight shirt

Khabib Nurmagomedov managed to get six figures for Dustin Poirier’s fight-worn shirt from their UFC 242 championship bout – all of which will go to charity.

In the aftermath of Nurmagomedov’s (28-0 MMA, 12-0 UFC) submission victory over Poirier (25-6 MMA, 17-5 UFC) to defend the lightweight title this month, the two competitors exchanged Reebok shirts inside the octagon in a heartwarming moment of sportsmanship.

Nurmagomedov said he planned to auction the shirt off, with all the proceeds going to Poirier’s charity, The Good Fight Foundation, in partnership with Justin Wren’s Fight For The Forgotten. With more than 17 million total social media followers, Nurmagomedov felt he could get a significant price, and he was right.

Poirier today told MMA Junkie that the shirt sold for $100,000, which will be of great benefit to the UFC 242 charity goal of building water wells to repair a ruined water supply at an orphanage and school in Uganda.

“It’s great because it’s going to help a lot of people,” Poirier told MMA Junkie. “I’m proud of that. I appreciate them helping out the charity. It’s been growing and I’m very grateful for that.”

Immediately following UFC 242, company president Dana White praised the philanthropy of Poirier and Nurmagomedov. He said he would match whatever sum of money Nurmagomedov raised for auctioning off the shirt.

In addition to Nurmagomedov’s six-figure contribution, The Good Fight Foundation had already surpassed its financial goal. Originally set for $25,000, there’s already more than $33,000 raised online through the website.

You can donate at TheGoodFightGroup.com, or go to FightForTheForgotten.com and donate straight to the cause.

Dustin Poirier says he will give Justin Gaethje rematch

We could potentially see a rematch between two of the best lightweights in the world. Following his TKO win over Donald Cerrone at UFC Vancouver on Saturday night, Dustin Poirier said that he would be open to a rematch with Justin Gaethje.

Here’s what Poirier said on his social media following Gaethje’s latest TKO win.

“I’ll give him his rematch. If they want.”

Gaethje and Poirier fought in April 2018 in Gaethje’s hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. Poirier knocked Gaethje out in the fourth round in his run up to a title shot against UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. He lost to the champ at UFC 242 earlier this month, and now Poirier has been all over social media calling out fellow elite lightweights in an effort to quickly get back into the title mix.

Poirier and Gaethje’s first fight was an incredible matchup that won “Fight of the Night” and a rematch would certainly be just as exciting. If a rematch were to happen, Poirier has one request: that the fight happens in his hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana this time around. Here’s what Poirier said on Twitter.

“I fought him in his backyard already how about New Orleans if we do it again”

Gaethje said after beating Cerrone that he wants the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson next. However, that could mean Gaethje is waiting a long while to fight as the UFC hasn’t even booked that fight yet. Gaethje did not say he was interested in fighting Conor McGregor, despite that being a fight that fans want to see.

However, he may be interested in a rematch with Poirier. Not only would Gaethje get a chance to avenge his loss, but he would also get a chance to fight a higher-ranked opponent, stay busy, and get one step closer to a title fight. However, it seems like Gaethje’s focus right now is on securing a title shot at 155lbs.

Would you be interested in seeing a rematch between Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje?

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Dustin Poirier thanks Khabib Nurmagomedov for a tough lesson

Dustin Poirier has had nearly a week to process his tough, submission loss to UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242, and he seems to be finding a silver lining in the experience. From the sounds of it, he’s treating this loss to the champ as a lesson, and hopes it’ll make him stronger.

Poirier even thanked Nurmagomedov for the experience.

“Everything happens for a reason. This is my journey and it’s unique. Thank you Khabib for another tough life lesson. No excuses no regrets. Gonna take my lumps and keep it moving.” – Dustin Poirier on Instagram.

This is good to hear from Dustin Poirier, who seemed quite distraught in the days immediately following his loss to Nurmagomedov.

“I’m familiar with adversity,” Poirier said at the UFC 242 post-fight press conference (via MMA Fighting). “It’s just I have to live the rest of my life asking myself if I could have done more, if I could have maybe escaped some of those takedowns. If I could have pushed harder when I had my underhooks against the fence.

“Those are the questions that will haunt me. I’ve lost before,” Poirier continued.

“The guy’s good, man. He’s the world champ,” he said. “Maybe I could have done more. You know, hindsight’s 20/20. I was very prepared for this fight, to fight 25 minutes. He did exactly what I thought he was going to do. Of course, I’m going to beat myself up and I’m the only one who has to deal with this, me and my family.”

Dustin Poirier also seemed to be considering retirement for a period after this failed title bid.

“Thank you guys for the support, it means a lot to me,” Poirier said in a video posted to social media. “If I choose to fight again, I’ll be back strong. If not I’ll see what God has in store for me.”

Do you think we’ll see Dustin Poirier back in the cage soon? If so, how do you think he’ll learn from his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/12/2019.

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Al Iaquinta critiques Poirier’s performance, talks Nurmagomedov’s next move

As one of the top contenders in the UFC lightweight division, New York’s Al Iaquinta was watching last weekend’s Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Dustin Poirier fight very closely. In fact, Iaquinta had some pretty unique insight into this Nurmagomedov vs. Poirier matchup, having battled the former to a decision loss in a short-notice fight in early 2018.

In the end, Nurmagomedov defeated Poirier by submission. With the dust settled, Iaquinta shared his thoughts on the fight on the latest episode of BJPENN.com Radio.

He has some very interesting takeaways.

For one, Iaquinta feels that Poirier was somewhat surprised — even panicked — by Nurmagomedov’s wrestling ability.

“I thought that everything played out the way that I expected, except for the comments in the corner — Dustin’s comments in the corner in between rounds.” Iaquinta said. “It sounded like he was really surprised that he was getting out-wrestled and kind of controlled. I feel like that would’ve been expected. Or even not expected, but just… visualizing that fight, in the lead-up, he would have seen that as a possibility.

“He got out-wrestled in the first round and then in the corner he was like, ‘not a lot of space,’” Iaquinta continued. “Almost like a panic that he wasn’t expecting it. I feel like [being out-wrestled] would’ve been kind of a neutral thing. It’s like, all right, you expected this to happen. Then the second round, he landed some shots, but then the same thing in the corner. He’s saying, ‘he’s all over me. I can’t get him off of me.’ Well, you’re landing shots, so let’s build off that.”

As Al Iaquinta suggests, Poirier did have some success in the fight. In addition to a few solid strikes in the second round, he also briefly threatened with a guillotine choke. Yet Iaquinta suspects it was this failed guillotine attempt that took the final bit of wind out of Poirier’s sails.

Poirier’s tap, after all, was not long thereafter.

“I think that he went for that guillotine, and the guillotine was close — it was tight,” Iaquinta said. “But once Khabib got out of it, I think that was it. The momentum really shifted and there wasn’t too much of a defense for that choke.”

Iaquinta believes we saw something similar when Conor McGregor attempted to dethrone Nurmagomedov. The Irish star was actually able to win around against the champion, but after this brief period of success, he seemed to abruptly deflate and was promptly submitted.

“Same as Conor,” he said. “It’s like they gave that one last effort, you know, Conor won the round prior. And then once he couldn’t get him out of there, it was like that was it. [McGregor was] pretty quick on the tap.”

From here, Nurmagomedov is expected to defend his title against his long-time rival Tony Ferguson. The pair have been scheduled to fight four times previously to no avail, and Iaquinta is hopeful we’ll finally get to witness this incredible lightweight matchup.

“I hope that Ferguson gets that fight and we get to see that fight finally play out,” he said. “I think that’s the fight that really needs to happen, deserves to happen.

“What a great time for the lightweights it is,” Iaquinta added. “Just so many good fights and so many possibilities. I think Ferguson deserves that next shot. I think that he’s very, very dangerous in certain positions, and he’s very good at getting to those positions.”

While Ferguson is widely viewed as the number-one contender at lightweight, there’s also been some discussion about a potential rematch between Nurmagomedov and McGregor. Iaquinta can see it happening, but only for financial reasons.

“The only reason that that fight would happen again is for money,” he said. “I mean it would be a shame if that’s the whole goal of this thing, and it seems that recently it has been.”

Whoever Khabib Nurmagomedov ends up fighting next, Al Iaquinta hopes the champ keeps winning. As the only man to survive to the final bell with Nurmagomedov of late, Iaquinta believes he looks better and better every time the champ finishes somebody like McGregor or Poirier.

“Every fight he fights, I’m rooting for him,” he said. “I hope he keeps winning. And I hope he keeps making me look good and making me look tough.”

As aforementioned, Iaquinta only had a short time to prepare for his fight with Nurmagomedov. We’re talking 24 hours. Despite the brevity of his preparation, he preformed admirably against the undefeated Russian, and would love the opportunity for a rematch with a full training camp.

“I still have a lot of respect for him,” Iaquinta said. “I just think that with a full training camp and the preparation… he hasn’t faced anybody since then with a wrestling pedigree like mine. I grew up wrestling and then transferred over to MMA. I wasn’t one of these guys like a Dustin or Conor that started doing everything else and then tried to learn wrestling.”

What do you think is next for Khabib Nurmagomedov? Do you Al Iaquinta will earn another crack at the champ in the future?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 9/12/2019.

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