Dustin Poirier doesn’t want to come right out and say he considers Eddie Alvarez a dirty competitor.
But after his experiences with Alvarez over the course of two fights with the former UFC and Bellator lightweight champion, well, Poirier went about as close as you can go without flat-out making the accusation.
”I don’t want to say somebody’s a dirty fighter,” Poirier said at the UFC on FOX 30 post-fight press conference. “But the first fight, you kneed me; the second fight, you tried to elbow me illegally and you gave me a wet willy. We’ve got to draw the line somewhere.”
Poirier defeated Alvarez in the second round of Saturday night’s main event in a bout which turned on a restart after Alvarez throw an illegal 12-to-6 downward elbow. That came in the aftermath of their controversial first fight at UFC 211 in Dallas last year, which ended in a no contest in the second round after Alvarez threw an illegal knee at the downed Poirier.
And according to Poirier, those weren’t the only fouls Alvarez committed.
“The weird thing is, when I had him in the guillotine, he stuck his finger in my ear and was pulling me down and the ref warned him,” Poirier said. ”And he put his finger right back in my ear. So, this is an old dog that knows a lot of tricks.”
Poirier, who is now at most one fight away from a UFC lightweight title shot following his fifth consecutive victory — minus the no-contest — knows there will be some out there who try to pin his victory on referee Marc Goddard’s call for a restart.
And as far as the tenacious American Top Team competitor is concerned, some people are going to hate no matter what, so he’s not going to lose any sleep over the critics.
“People are always going to point to something, Poirier said. “These checks are going to cash. And I have another win on my record, and another step closer to fighting for the world title. So they can point and say what they want. I’m laughing all the way to the bank and all the way back home to my family with another win that’s been earned. Nothing’s been given and that’s that, man.”
The illegal elbow appeared to land on Poirier’s neck, and Poirier, for his part, said he was okay when asked about it during the fight. But the referee made his call, and that’s something that’s out of Poirier’s hands.
“The ref’s like, he comes up to me in the corner when he stood us up, he said, ‘That’s an illegal strike and I’m taking the position away from Eddie.’” Poirier said. “And I mean, it’s out of my hands, man. You know? Whether he did it on purpose, but that one didn’t hurt me. I let them know, I’m fine, it didn’t even land, it landed on my neck or my shoulder.”