Coming off one of the biggest fights of his career, Dustin Poirier is ready to mix it up one final time in a trilogy bout with Conor McGregor in July at UFC 164. As Poirier prepares for the highly-anticipated rematch, the former lightweight interim champion is locked in with camp fully underway in South Florida.
Poirier’s decision to fight McGregor instead of a lightweight title fight against Charles Oliveira came with plenty of questions. The lightweight contender did his best to answer the critics on why he’d turn down another chance at UFC gold to fight a man he knocked out less than six months ago.
“I know the magnitude of this fight, and I mean, at the end of the day, if I’m really the best in the world, I’ll be back in front of somebody for the world title at some point, you know, I just see how big this fight is,” Poirier told Uproxx Sports. “Not only on the monetary side, but just the whole picture. This is huge. This guy is a legendary fighter. He’s going to go down in the history books as one of the greats and to have two wins over him and to be involved in a trilogy on this magnitude. I just know what it means for my career. That’s what I’m doing. It not only for my career, but for my family’s wellbeing and, and everything that goes along with beating a guy like this again.”
The lightweight contender has grown accustomed to training for bouts in unusual circumstances, this being his third fight since the pandemic began last March, and he’s using his latest partnership with Samsung to aid in his preparation.
“(Being the first MMA fighter to partner with Samsung) is a big deal. I’ve been using Samsung electronics for a long time and I’ve been team Galaxy since way back,” Poirier said. “It’s an organic partnership. It’s not like I’m posting stuff or talking about stuff that I don’t use on a daily basis. (All Samsung products) have a place in training camp, and not only that, but in my life. … I got a new Galaxy Book Pro, so video calls with my family at the beginning of training camp when we were separated was awesome. … And also my fitness tracker to watch my heart rate and training. Hitting certain goals like that with the watch.”
With light at the end of the tunnel, and much of the country returning to normal following mass vaccinations, Poirier is looking forward to a much different atmosphere when he steps back into the Octagon in Las Vegas with fans in attendance.
“This is big, man. This is going to be one of the first packed houses for combat sports event in Las Vegas,” Poirier said. “I mean, this is a stacked pay-per-view and I’m excited to be part of it.”
No matter what happens — at least from Poirier’s perspective — it sounds like the two talented fighters will be ready to go their separate ways after July 10 with a title fight likely in play for the winner.
“I think just as a man and as a fighter, of course I’m a prize fighter. So at the end of the day, I have to be compensated for what I do at this level. So that that’s definitely a motivating factor, but also. You know, we’re 1-1. He knocked me out. I knocked him out. We owe it to each other and to the people, to mixed martial arts. We owe it to do it again and see who the better man is,” Poirier said. “You know, we can’t just leave everybody hanging and go our separate ways when we’re 1-1. Let’s let’s let’s finish this thing out and then we can move on. Move ahead.”
Poirier will take on McGregor in the main event of UFC 264 on Saturday July 10 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.