Dustin Poirier says he would have retired if he won UFC 302

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UFC 302 didn’t end how Dustin Poirier planned in more ways than one.

Poirier said he intended to retire on the night of the fight if he’d beaten Islam Makhachev.

“I was going to put the belt down with the gloves,” Poirier said Monday on “The MMA Hour” with Ariel Helwani. “But this is my story, and it happened the way it was supposed to happen for my journey. It’s been written already.”

Makhachev defeated Poirier in five rounds with a D’Arce choke to win the UFC lightweight championship. Poirier, one of the best boxers in UFC history, suffered a broken nose and rib and partially tore his ACL during the loss.

Poirier has openly discussed retirement in the past year but declined to make an official announcement after the loss. However, he acknowledged the potential reality of UFC 302 being his last bout in his post-fight interview in the cage.

Poirier told Helwani that his wife Jolie wants him to retire, but he’s still seeking clarity about his decision.

“I still don’t know,” Poirier said. “I can’t say I’ll never fight again, but I just don’t know the reason. What am I going to fight for? To get into a battle? I love that, but I’ve taken some lumps over the years. It has to be for something. And maybe that’s something I’ll realize in the coming weeks, but I’m just taking it one day at a time.”

When asked if he was leaning toward a decision, Poirier said, “I’m leaning towards being done. For sure. Especially with getting the title fight, how many more times would I need to fight to put myself back in (a) position to fight for the world title? I don’t know.”

He added that the only reason he’s considering not retiring is “because I know I can still compete with these guys, and I feel like I’m still getting better.”

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(Photo: Joe Camporeale / USA Today)

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