Over the weekend, Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker treated us with a five-round classic that many already deem to be a strong Fight of the Year candidate. But what they showed for the sake of our entertainment definitely took a toll on their bodies and physical health.
Poirier, a 33-fight veteran, is beginning to feel the effects of being in the profession he chose. At the age of 31, “The Diamond” is now made to think into the near future, in terms of his career.
“Like we were saying, I don’t know how many fights I have left,” Poirier told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani recently (transcript by MMA Fighting). “I still feel young, I still feel great, fresh, and I love what I do, but I do not want to continue for another five years, fighting fights like I just fought, because I don’t want to love this so much that it kills me.
“I use that word lightly. Not that I’m gonna die in there, I mean that it’s gonna take something that I can’t get back. Not only from me but for the ones that I love.”
All Poirier wants is to retain his mental faculties for his beloved family.
“I want to be there for my daughter forever. I want to be there for my wife,” he said. “I don’t want to start fading away, mentally or anything like that. And I just know that’s a reality in what we do, in combat sports. I don’t beat around the bush, I know that’s a possibility and I know that what I’m doing isn’t good for myself.”
With the win over Hooker, Poirier climbed to the top ten of the UFC pound-for-pound rankings and is now ranked number two at lightweight. It also put him in front of the line to face the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje, which is targeted for September.