It’s a sentiment echoed by many fighters when they get to a certain point with their MMA career. After a decade fighting under the ZUFFA banner and nine years inside the UFC Octagon, Dustin Poirier isn’t interested in taking whatever fight the promotion puts in front of him.
‘The Diamond’ has fought at least twice a year, every year, since making his MMA debut back in 2009. Having firmly carved out his place as a headlining talent, and firmly positioned as a no. 1 contender should Justin Gaethje beat Khabib Nurmagomedov latr this year, perhaps it’s time for the 31-year-old to be a bit more choosy about just what brings him back into the Octagon.
After his June 27th victory over Dan Hooker, Poirier noted that he would likely be looking to take some time off. Rest up, work on his game, and see what the future held in a few months. In a recent interview with CBS Sports Radio’s Jim Rome Show, Poirier spoke about his changing motivation, and what that will mean for the next few years of his career (transcript via MMA Fighting).
“I’ve been fighting for a while, I have 40 fights, and I want these last four or five years to really mean something every time I get into the octagon,” Poirier said. “Not only for me and my family, but for the goals that I’m trying to bring awareness to and raise money for and for my career. I really want to leave a legacy.”
“I’m not sure what the options will be when the UFC comes back and starts sitting at the table to make these matches,” Poirier continued. “It needs to be a really big name or a title fight. I’ve been doing this for 10 years in the UFC, and I still love fighting, but I want these fights to mean more than just a fight. I don’t want it to just be about a show and win purse. I want it to really mean something, and I know I’m in the back nine of my career.”
As a former UFC lightweight interim champion, he’s already achieved goals greater than most in MMA will ever reach. But, he’s created a lasting impact outside of MMA as well.
Poirier’s Good Fight Foundation has teamed up in the past with former UFC fight Justin Wren and his work with Fight for the Forgotten to help dig wells for the Batwa Pygmy Tribe in Uganda. They’ve also worked at a more local level with food drives, school supplies, and support for the homeless.
Poirier regularly raffles off his fight kits from his UFC events to help raise money for these causes among others. He was recently honored with the UFC’s innagural Forrest Griffin Community Award for his charity efforts. Hopefully his remaining years in MMA will prove just as fruitful, if not more so.
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