Saturday, January 29, 2022

Khabib Nurmagomedov suggests Dustin Poirier’s ‘fire went out’ after UFC 269 loss to Charles Oliveira

Khabib Nurmagomedov sees the spark fading in Dustin Poirier’s commitment to the fight game. Nurmagomedov, the former UFC lightweight champion, sensed Poirier’s diminishing fire in the aftermath of Poirier’s loss to Charles Oliveira at UFC 269. It marked Poirier’s second failed bid for undisputed UFC gold following a loss to Nurmagomedov in 2019, both via third-round rear-naked choke.

Nurmagomedov was asked about Poirier’s loss at a recent press conference where suggested that Poirier’s alleged waning interest in the process is a natural roadblock on a fighter’s journey.

“What went wrong with Dustin Poirier? I think every person has resources,” Nurmagomedov said (translation via Fight Flashback). “When a man starts a new business, in the beginning, he is on fire. He is moving forward, his business is developing. But after times a come when he goes out. He wants to withdraw money and start a new business. And this is life.

“You launch a business. In the beginning, you think you are going to do it all your life. But then comes a time where you go out a little bit. You want to invest in other businesses. The same thing could happen with a fighter. There is a fire, a hunger when you want it very much. Then comes a time when you still want it but not so hard. It happens when the fire went out, but there are still numbers in a contract. You think, ‘Wait, I can earn this money in a fight.’ The fighters have such moments.”

Nurmagomedov saw this trepidation from Poirier in the aftermath of his submission loss to Oliveira on Dec. 11.

“I saw this,” Nurmagomedov said. “After the fight, he said he needs to think. Does he need it at all? If such thoughts came to his mind, it means he will win, but he will win and lose. He will not go to the end when it will be necessary. Sometimes, you look at the athlete and see how fast he changes. I say it to my close friends. While there is a time you should stay active and keep fighting, if this switch clicks once, he will never go back. I think his switch clicked. The time comes.

“There was Frankie Edgar, Benson Henderson, [Anthony] Pettis, before me. Then Conor [McGregor]. I came. No one stayed, everyone left. Now it is Charles Oliveira’s time. Charles came. Now it is the time of Islam [Makhachev], Beneil [Dariush], Justin [Gaethje], Charles Oliveira. They will fight now, then they will leave too. Others will come. No one can control this and no one will be able to stop this. Time runs [out]. I think everything is simple. Charles Oliveira was better, choked [Poirier] and left. Later, another one will come and win. He will go out. Then we will talk about another one. It is such a carousel that will never be stopped.” 

Nurmagomedov retired from MMA following a successful defense of the UFC lightweight title against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 on Oct. 24, 2020. He wrapped up his professional career with an undefeated record of 29-0.

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