Dustin Poirier: Far Beyond Driven Ahead Of UFC Norfolk

Dustin Poirier: Far Beyond Driven Ahead Of UFC Norfolk

UFC lightweight contender Dustin Poirier shares insight on his motivation ahead of bout with Anthony Pettis at UFC Fight Night 120.

Nov 8, 2017 by Duane Finley
Dustin Poirier: Far Beyond Driven Ahead Of UFC Norfolk

The intensity that exists inside of Dustin Poirier has built to new levels in 2017.

The always game Louisiana native has put on two of the best performances of his career in the current calendar year, yet the distance traveled toward a title shot doesn’t add up in his mind. Poirier believes he should be standing much closer to a long-awaited championship opportunity, and the fact he isn’t doesn’t sit well with the American Top Team representative ahead of his bout at UFC Fight Night 120 in Norfolk, VA, this Saturday.

Not in the slightest.

The 28-year-old lightweight defeated divisional staple Jim Miller at UFC 208 back in February and then was well on his way to routing Eddie Alvarez three months later at UFC 211 before the former champion landed an illegal knee that brought the fight to an end. The final result left disappointment in a no contest, but Poirier figured the two men would be able to settle things once and for all with an immediate rematch.

Alvarez was instead booked opposite of Justin Gaethje to coach "The Ultimate Fighter," and Poirier was left with half a paycheck and a bad taste in his mouth.

"You know, in that fight, everybody who watched it saw I whipped Eddie Alvarez, made him look like an amateur,” Poirier told FloCombat. “I mean the guy was two steps behind, couldn’t keep up. And then he kneed me in the back of the head with a shot that was illegal. And in the heat of the moment, I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

"I thought it could’ve been an accident. I thought he might’ve been hurt, you know, and he was in fight mode, survival mode, he was just fighting and he kneed me. I told the crowd in Dallas to stop booing him, stood up for the guy, then he came out on social media talking sh*t, saying I wanted out of the fight. Why would I want out of a fight that I was winning? I just don’t understand.”

With no rematch on the table, Poirier sought out a new target, and the UFC came to call with another former titleholder in Anthony Pettis. Both fighters have a long history of engaging in exciting scraps, which should make the main event at UFC Fight Night 120 a guaranteed knocker.

That said, Poirier isn’t just looking for a fight. “The Diamond” is out to claim what he feels is deserved — and earned — with a victory over the former lightweight king.

“Eddie Alvarez got a title shot with a win over Pettis," Poirier said. "Max Holloway got a title shot with a win over Pettis. Unless [the UFC] keeps f*cking me over… I’ve been at this a long time. This will be my 21st fight in the company. I’ve been fighting the best guys. I never turned down a fight and never missed weight. I never make excuses and I show up to fight. Let’s go.

“Nothing is given in this sport. I’ve been fighting 10 years and I’ve earned every step of the way. I built this with [holds up fists]. Punch by punch, step by step and I’m very proud of it.”