Dustin Poirier's world was rocked when he fought Conor McGregor at UFC 178 last September. After weeks of antagonizing from his Irish opponent, 'The Notorious' delivered on his promise when he knocked out 'The Diamond' in the first round at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Since then, Poirier has reinvented himself as a lightweight contender, crushing Carlos Diego Ferreria and Yancy Medeiros, but the sting of the McGregor loss still torments the Floridan.
"I was very emotional, just because of everything that had gone on between me and Conor," Poirier told Sky Sports yesterday. "I've had 22 fights and I've never been put out like that. Conor is definitely the real deal. It was a well-placed, well thought-out punch that he threw. It hit me and I went down early. I also didn't expect so much of the crowd to be rooting against me. That was actually shocking. But I wouldn't say it affected the way I fought."
The 26-year-old picked Chad Mendes to silence Conor McGregor at UFC 189, but the Irishman TKO'd 'Money' in the second round to seize the interim featherweight title. After shutting out Mendes, Poirier believes McGregor will dethrone reigning champion Jose Aldo at UFC 194.
"It's a really competitive fight and hard to call but I think Conor will win using footwork and striking."
Dustin Poirier will face the man being hailed as 'The McGregor Slayer', Joseph Duffy, at UFC Fight Night 76 next month. Duffy is the last man to beat McGregor; the former rugby player submitted the SBG fighter at a Cage Warriors event in 2010.
Poirier is excited for the bout, and looks forward to taking on "Irish Joe" in front of his native Irish supporters.
"I've moved forwards since then and fighting in front of the Irish crowd is nothing to do with getting revenge for that fight. Joe Duffy has a lot of people looking at him because he's the last person to beat Conor, so I thought 'let me check this guy out'."
Poirier vs. Duffy will headline the UFC Dublin card on October 24th, and Conor McGregor will take on Jose Aldo in a title unification bout at UFC 194 on December 12th.