'If I choose to fight again, I'll be back strong': Dustin Poirier hints at retirement after UFC 242
Poirier was a forlorn figure following his third-round submission loss to the Russian lightweight champion in Abu Dhabi as he gave a heartfelt interview to UFC commentator Jon Anik in the immediate aftermath of the fight, as he explained that the defeat was a tough one to digest given the magnitude of his physical and mental preparation for the contest.Also on rt.com Tony Ferguson, not Conor McGregor, is the sole remaining challenge to Khabib Nurmagomedov in the UFC
The defeat will likely end Poirier's title hopes in the 155lb fold for the foreseeable future, but recent UFC matchmaking has shown that top-level fighters are rarely more than two or three impressive wins away from a title shot, but with Tony Ferguson and Conor McGregor lurking among the division's top contenders it seems that the path to UFC gold is a convoluted one for the American.
And in the cold light of day, Poirier issued his first public statement on social media regarding the defeat, in which he thanked his supporters for their positive words, but appeared unsure if he would ever don a pair of 4oz gloves again.
Dustin Poirier has hinted he could retire after his #UFC242 defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov.I believe he has plenty left to offer and is still capable of winning UFC gold. The 💎 has shone brightly for the last two-and-a-half years and has plenty time to continue doing so. pic.twitter.com/8l3t6E2DDK— Chisanga Malata (@Chisanga_Malata) September 8, 2019
"Thank you guys for the support," Poirier said on an Instagram story. "It means a lot to me. If I choose to fight again, I'll be back strong. If not, I'll see what God has in store for me. Thank you."
Meanwhile, Poirier's coach Mike Brown has described Nurmagomedov as an "unparalleled champ" following the 28th unbeaten fight of his career, while also reserving significant praise for the defeated challenger. Writing on Twitter, Brown said that he never doubted his fighter's ability and that Poirier is a "natural born fighter with incredible talent."
Even though we fell behind early, I never counted him out. Dp is a natural born fighter with incredible talent. He will be back on top I’m certain, if anyone is capable, it’s @dustinpoirier . Much respect to the bear @khabib_nurmagomedov , he’s an unparalleled champ. pic.twitter.com/Mvk1NdVPk3— Mike Brown (@mikebrownmma) September 8, 2019
Poirier's immediate future remains uncertain but it is fair to say that despite the crippling blow that comes with a defeat of this magnitude, the American's stock has never been higher - particularly in the aftermath of his humble comments made in the cage and on social media following the most disappointing result of his mixed martial arts career.Also on rt.com 'I’m sorry for anyone I let down': Poirer gives tearful speech after UFC 242 loss to Khabib (VIDEO)