Dustin Poirier Reveals How Justin Gaethje KO Loss Broke Him Mentally

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Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje

Dustin Poirier had a seriously tough time dealing with his knockout loss to Justin Gaethje at UFC 291.

After suffering a crushing head kick knockout loss at the hands of Gaethje at UFC 291, Poirier returned to the win column when he faced off against Benoit Saint-Denis at UFC 299, where he scored a solid knockout victory, which puts him back in title contention. The comeback wasn’t easy, however.

In a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, ‘The Diamond’ revealed that the Gaethje defeat had a very deep impact on him.

“I went through some real mental struggles, man,” Poirier said. “I was going through some stuff. That’s when I really started practicing mindfulness and setting my intentions and just trying to be grateful for every day.”

Poirier also disclosed that his mental struggles had impacted him to the extent that he sought therapy.

“Really bad. Really bad,” Poirier said. “Yeah, worse than that [thinking he won’t fight again], couple times. I actually started going to therapy after the fight [the Gaethje loss]. I think it’s important to open up and talk about how you feel. We’re in the spotlight, being tough guys all the time, but we’re people, too. That’s the mindset – Dustin the fighter, but what about Dustin? What about me? Life is deep, man. Fighting is just something I do. It’s good to check in on yourself.”

With a monumental win against Saint-Denis, Poirier now has a chance to fight for the lightweight belt as champion Islam Makhachev seems willing to lock horns with him.

Does Dustin Poirier deserve a title shot?