Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov believes Dustin Poirier has lost his competitive fire.
Poirier most recently challenged Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title at UFC 269, where he was submitted in the third round, failing to win the belt for the second time after initially losing to Khabib in their title unifier at UFC 242. ‘The Diamond’ hinted at retirement after his loss to the Brazilian.
‘The Fire Went Out’
During a recent press conference (as translated by Fighting Flashback), Khabib said that Poirier’s post-fight attitude makes him believe that he’s lost his competitive fire.
“I think every person has resources,” Khabib said. “You know, I think when a man starts a new business, in the beginning he is on fire. He is moving forward, his business is developing. But after comes a time when he goes out. He wants to withdraw money and to start a new business. And this is life… You launch a business. In the beginning, you think you are going to do it all life. But then comes a time you go out a little bit, you want to invest to other business.
“The same thing could happen with a fighter. There is a fire, a hunger, when you want it very much. Then comes a time when you still want it but not so hard. It happens when the fire went out, but there are still numbers in a contract. You think, ‘Wait, I can earn this money in a fight.’ The fighters have such moments.”
Poirier’s Time Is Up
Khabib also predicted that Poirier’s time as a top contender is up, and now the battle for supremacy at 155 pounds is between Oliveira, Justin Gaethje, Islam Makhachev and Beneil Dariush.
“After the fight, he said he needs to think, does he need it at all? If such thoughts came to his mind, it means he will win, but he will win and lose,” Khabib said. “He will not go to the end when it will be necessary. Sometimes, you look at the athlete and see how fast he changes. I say it to my close friends. While there is a time you should stay active and keep fighting. If this switch clicks once, he will never go back. I think his switch clicked.
“The time comes. There was Frankie Edgar, Benson Henderson, Pettis, before me. Then Conor [McGregor]… No one stayed, everyone left. Now it is Charles Oliveira’s time. Charles came. Now it is the time of Islam, Beneil, Justin, Charles Oliveira. They will fight now, then they will leave too. Others will come. No one can control this and no one will be able to stop this. Time runs [out]. I think everything is simple. Charles Oliveira was better; choked and left. Later, another one will come and [beat] him. He will go out, then we will talk about another one. It is such a carousel that will never be stopped.”
Do you agree with Khabib Nurmagomedov?