UFC lightweight Dustin Poirier doesn’t shy away from the fact that he can be an emotional fighter. On more than one occasion he’s allowed his emotions to get the better of him, and it has cost him.
One particular time that sticks out to Poirier was his UFC 178 loss to Conor McGregor in 2014.
“(Fighting emotionally) makes me do stuff I normally wouldn’t do,” Poirier said during a recent stint on the UFC Unfiltered podcast. “It makes me make mistakes. I’m a way better fighter than that. When I get mad, and get emotional and fight with a lot of emotion like that, it blinds me a little bit and I make big mistakes.”
Poirier feels he’s made adjustments to help him get past the issue, especially in thanks due to becoming a father.
“I have a mental coach, and just growing as a person,” said Poirier. “I have a daughter now and she’s teaching me patience. It’s just life pretty much. Life makes you better.”
After dropping a TKO loss to Michael Johnson last September at UFC Fight Night 94, Poirier rebounded with a majority decision victory over Jim Miller at UFC 208 in February. Poirier believes he’ll be able to keep things rolling, like he did after his loss to McGregor, when he went on to a five-fight winning streak.
“I just have self-belief and I stay true,” Poirier said. “I’m really in this sport to win it and be in it for the long run. It’s a marathon. I just pace myself and just believe in myself.
“It’s tough what we do – fight the best guys in the world – one mistake and you can lose. I always go back to the drawing board, reassess, make adjustments, and I think every time I lose it shows the adjustments are made and I come back better.”
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On Saturday in Dallas, Poirier (21-5) takes on Eddie Alvarez (28-5) in the headlining bout of the UFC 211 undercard in a 155-pound showdown.
With Alvarez making his first fight since his loss to McGregor in November, Poirier was asked if he thought his opponent would be looking to make a statement after suffering defeat in his last bout.
“That doesn’t have anything to do with me, honestly,” said Poirier. “It’s up to (Alvarez). I’m going to fight my fight.
“If he’s going to be in there emotional, thinking it’s all on the line and this will be his last fight; if he goes in there thinking that, he’s going to get his ass whipped. If he goes in there thinking smooth and clean, he’s going to get his ass whipped either way.”
With McGregor’s future in the division unclear at the moment, and with other fighters jostling for position, Poirier addressed where he feels he can end up in the lightweight division.
“This is probably one of the craziest divisions right now,” Poirier said. “With them maybe making an interim belt (because) the champion is not fighting, no telling what’s going to happen. Anything can happen in this sport, so we’ll see in a couple months, but after (UFC 211) it will be clearer.”
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