Poirier Can Take All The Time He Needs

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Throughout the run-up to Saturday night’s UFC 302 pay-per-view in Newark, NJ from Prudential Center, No. 4 lightweight contender Dustin Poirier (30-9, 1 NC MMA,  22-8, 1 NC UFC) was noncommittal when the topic of discussion was the question of whether or not this past weekend’s main event versus current champion Islam Makhachev (26-1 MMA, 15-1 UFC) would be the swan song for his career as a combatant. This has been commonplace for him for a while now.

When the time would come for Poirier, nicknamed “The Diamond”, to do interviews with MMA journalists before fights, he wouldn’t give a direct answer as to if his next fight would be the final appearance in a career that’s spanned 40 total fights and 31 fights in Dana White‘s promotion. This happened again over a week ago.

Poirier Pondering Retirement

On May 23, an interview with Dustin Poirier and CBS Sports’ Shakiel Mahjouri dropped. During said interview, Poirier would not give a straight answer about his status as a fighter beyond UFC 302 on Saturday night.

“I’m not going to climb the ladder again,” the No. 4 contender at 155 lbs. said. “I’ve been doing this a long time. It’s a very selfish sport. I’m ready to be a father and be a husband and be home and be into a routine. I wouldn’t say I can’t do it again. It’s just… this is it for me.”

At the core, Poirier’s comments to Mahjouri made a week and a half ago amount to something out of a poker game. By not offering a direct answer, Dustin Poirier is keeping the cards in his hand close to his vest, a smart play by him. He’s given himself control over the exact moment as to when he wants to reveal that he’s going to retire.

Poirier Remains Undecided on Fighting Future

The headliner came and went over the weekend, with Makhachev successfully defending the UFC Lightweight Championship by way of fifth-round submission (D’arce choke.) Not even after the UFC 302 main event on Saturday night did Poirier officially commit to retirement in a post-fight interview with stand-up comedian and UFC color commentator Joe Rogan following the official decision.

“I know I can compete with the best of these guys,” Poirier told Rogan and the crowd inside Prudential Center. “If I do fight again, what am I fighting for? Is it just to fight? I’ve done that 50 times. I’ve got a little girl [that] I love. I’ve got to see. I think this could be it, honestly, Joe. I’m not 100 percent, but if this is the last fight, I want to dedicate this journey to the people who made me the man that I am, and that’s the women in my life.”

If, by chance, we saw the final fight from Dustin Poirier in the famed UFC Octagon on Saturday night in New Jersey, he had a brilliant career. Although a UFC Lightweight Championship has to this point, eluded him, you cannot deny that Poirier’s career has been a joy to watch.

A Decision Need Not Come Now

With 40 MMA fights completed, Dustin Poirier has earned all the time in the world to make the decision as to if UFC 302 marked his last appearance in a cage after 15 years’ time. No matter how long an athlete’s career in his or her chosen sport lasts, whether it’s 15 years like Poirier or only a few months, that time is only a moment in time.

We’ve seem great athletes all throughout sports devote 15 to 20 years’ worth of their lives to the field of play, the court, the ring, or the cage. Again, this only amounts to a fraction of their life.

Family, on the other hand, will last forever. The Poirier family got some airtime over the weekend, as “The Diamond’s” daughter was interviewed by Megan Olivi on Friday afternoon during the UFC 302 weigh-ins telecast.

Over the next few weeks and months, Poirier will undoubtedly have long conversations with the family where he’ll weigh the pros and cons of continuing on as an MMA fighter. If thought about, Poirier may or may not already know if he wants to fight again at some point in the future.

He doesn’t have to commit to retirement or another fight right away. The worst thing that Poirier can do is make the decision to fight again or retire too quickly, only to realize that he’s either got a little more fuel left in the proverbial gas tank or his tank is at empty.

Final Thoughts

Whether or not Dustin Poirier returns to the Octagon either later this year or early next year remains an unknown as of today. He’s got plenty of time to weigh his options.

Best wishes to Poirier in whatever comes his way next.

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Drew Zuhosky has been writing about combat sports since May of 2018, coming to MMASucka after stints at Overtime Heroics and Armchair All-Americans. A graduate of Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, Drew is a charter member of the Youngstown Press Club. Prior to beginning his professional career, Drew was a sportswriter for YSU's student-run newspaper, The Jambar, where he supplied Press Box Perspective columns every week.