White Bestows ‘Legend’ Status On Poirier After Gutsy UFC 299 Win

Dustin Poirier still appears to have plenty of fight left in the tank.

In his 39-fight career (30-8, 1 no contest), Poirier has never been on a losing streak. After a tough second round knockout loss to Justin Gaethje at UFC 291 in July 2023 (watch highlights), “The Diamond” returned to the win column in the only fashion he knows how at UFC 299 last night (March 9, 2024).

Tasked with the rising Lightweight French finisher, Benoit Saint Denis, Poirier lost a tough competitive first of five potential rounds in their co-main event affair. In round two, however, Saint Denis got too close to the fire, which resulted in a burn via a vintage Poirier hook knockout (watch highlights). A low reward high-risk match-up for Poirier, UFC CEO, Dana White, had plenty of praise to heap upon one of his biggest 155-pound stars.

“These are the kind of fights when you talk about … the fight that he took tonight with Benoit, everybody, when the talk first started it was like, ‘Ooh, this is a bad fight for Poirier. Blah, blah, blah,’” White said at the UFC 299 post-fight press conference. “Then Poirier came out and said, ‘I didn’t sign’ and all this other — this is the s—t that makes you a f—king legend. These are legendary fights when you go in and face a guy who is a savage and looks like you can’t win this fight or people think you can’t win this fight and then you go in and do it in spectacular fashion the way that he did tonight.

“A lot of these fighters get very — you’ve heard it many times in the past,” he continued. “‘They want me to lose,’ or ‘They’re trying to make me lose.’ I heard some nutty s—t the other day from somebody that I won’t even mention. But we don’t determine whether you win or lose, you do. What we try to do is put on the best matchmaked fight that we can possibly do. That’s why big stars are built in the UFC and legendary fights happen every weekend.”

Poirier, 35, still hopes to one day become an undisputed Lightweight champion after two previous attempts and an interim title to his name. White made no definitive response to whether or not a title shot could be in his near future, but noted that Poirier’s stock once again “went through the roof.”

The bout was a massive step up for the No. 12-ranked Saint Denis, which is part of the reason it was such a gamble for the No. 3-ranked Poirier. Ultimately, it was the Louisiana native’s turn to give a potential future contender a shot to leapfrog the rankings.

“It was kind of a timing thing and the situation of the Lightweight division,” Poirier said. “There wasn’t any big names to fight. I wanted to fight, especially coming off a loss and nothing was big they could put together, but this guy’s on a streak and has a lot of momentum. When they offered it to me, that’s why we did it. There was nothing else at the time then I honor what I do, man. Eddie Alvarez gave me a shot when he was the former champion and I was an up-and-comer. You have to do it. That’s the nature of what we do.”

For complete UFC 299 results and play-by-play, click HERE!

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