This is a sentiment shared by many fighters when they reach a certain point with their MMA career. After a decade of fighting under the ZUFFA banner and nine years in the UFC Octagon, Dustin Poirier is not interested in taking the fight the promotion puts in front of him.
“The Diamond” has fought at least twice a year, every year, since making MMA debut in 2009. Having firmly carved out his headlining spot, and firmly positioned as a no. If Justin Gaethje defeats Khabib Nurmagomedov latr this year, it might be time for the 31-year-old to be a little more selective about what brings him back to the Octagon.
After his June 27 victory over Dan Hooker, Poirier has indicated he will likely look to take time off. Rest, work on his game, and see what the future holds in a few months. In a recent interview with CBS Sports Radio Spectacle Jim Rome, Poirier spoke about his changing motivation, and what it will mean for the next few years of his career (transcript via MMA fight).
“I’ve been fighting for a while, I’ve got 40 fights, and I want those last four or five years to really mean something every time I step into the Octagon,” Poirier said. “Not just for myself and my family, but for the goals that I’m trying to raise awareness and fundraise for and for my career. I really want to leave a legacy. “
“I don’t know what the options will be when the UFC comes back and starts sitting at the table to do these games,” continued Poirier. “It has to be a really big name or a title fight. I’ve been doing this for 10 years in the UFC and still love to fight, but I want these fights to mean more than just a fight. I don’t want this to be just a show and win a purse. I want it to really make sense, and I know I’m in the last nine of my career.
As a former interim UFC lightweight champion, he has already achieved bigger goals that most MMAs will ever achieve. But, he also created a lasting impact outside of MMA.
Pear tree Fondation Good Fight has teamed up in the past with former UFC fight Justin Wren and his work with Fight for the forgotten to help dig wells for the Batwa Pygmy tribe in Uganda. They also worked at a more local level with food drives, school supplies and support for the homeless.
Poirier regularly raffles his fight kits from his UFC events to help raise funds for these and other causes. He recently received the UFC’s Forrest Griffin Innagural Community Award for his charitable efforts. Hopefully his final years in MMA will prove to be just as successful, if not more so.