UFC lightweight contender Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier doesn’t care what UFC president Dana White has to say about his company’s plan for UFC superstar Conor McGregor. Instead, the 31-year-old is focused on his own plan to spoil all those big ideas by pulling the upset win over McGregor at UFC 257 on January 23 in Abu Dhabi.
“I’m trying not to play into that stuff anymore. It doesn’t matter. What happens in the fight is what matters. I can’t put emotion into those things or think about what other people say. All that stuff is just noise,” Poirier told Heavy.
Poirier is excited about the biggest fight of his career to date, and he’s confident he’ll win it.
“This is one of the biggest fights you can have in combat sports. A guy like Conor is one of the biggest names possible that you can be standing across from,” Poirier said.
Additionally, Poirier told me when I interviewed him for Bleacher Report that he expects to win his fight vs. McGregor by finish.
But whether it’s by knockout, submission, or decision, Poirier is confident he has more paths to victory than his opponent.
“I’m going to be victorious,” Poirier added.
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Poirier Explains Evolution as MMA Fighter
Poirier has more than just the stats on his side against McGregor.
In fact, the American believes what he’s experienced over the last six years since McGregor stopped in him in the first round of a featherweight contest at UFC 178 has helped him evolve into the type of fighter that will defeat McGregor.
“Over the years, I’ve had to evolve and get better as a fighter and as an athlete but also on the mental side,” Poirer said.
Anyone can see all the specific wrinkles Poirier has added inside the cage on fight night. “The Diamond” has become a complete MMA fighter over recent years.
— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) January 15, 2021
But Poirier revealed the biggest difference was how he’s evolved inside his own head.
“I don’t care what people think. I don’t care what people say. That goes for my opponent as well. I don’t care what he’s saying or what he’s thinking,” Poirier said.
That wasn’t always the case.
“I think when I was a younger fighter, I just read into things too much and cared too much about what critics and everybody said. I got in over my head with caring too much about the opinions of other people,” Poirier said.
But things have changed dramatically.
Today, Poirier sees himself as the best fighter he’s ever been, and he believes his new mindset is something that has helped him become more dangerous than ever.
“At this point in my career, I don’t really care [what people think]. I know who I am. I know the fighter I am, the father and husband I am. I am comfortable with who I am walking into these combat situations,” Poirier said.
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Poirier Expects Much Different Fight
Poirier offered even more insight on how his first fight vs. McGregor went wrong and why he believes the second fight will be much different.
“I think when I was younger I was trying to prove I was tough. I’ve proven that over the last six years already. So I’m not trying to be something I’m not. That’s the biggest difference,” Poirier said.
— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) January 12, 2021
Indeed, Poirier’s remarkable transformation is one of the most inspiring stories in combat sports.
After getting thrashed by McGregor in 2014, Poirier went on to become interim lightweight champ as well as one of the most popular fighters in the sport.
Poirier said being a public figure was challenging but worth it.
“We’re broadcasting some of the biggest moments of our lives. The 25 minutes of this next fight is going to be broadcast to the world. There’s no hiding. There’s no faking it. It is what it is,” Poirier said.
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