Dustin Poirier might just be one of the classiest men in the UFC, a true ambassador of the sport.
Rather than claim that he just had a ‘bad night at the office’ against Khabib Nurmagomedov in their lightweight title unification bout at UFC 242, ‘The Diamond’ admits the Russian was simply on another level and several steps ahead of him on fight night.
In a recent interview with Valuetainment’s Patrick Bet-David (h/t Sports Keeda), 32-year-old Poirier revealed that Nurmagomedov’s grappling is every bit as good as it’s purported to be and believes ‘The Eagle’ is a true master of his craft.
“Khabib Nurmagomedov...I’ve never felt anything like it and you know I have 46 fights,” Poirier said. “I’ve fought all kinds of different people , all kinds of different styles and been around the world training at gyms. This guy is good. His understanding of his weight distribution, where my weight needs to be to keep me up, to build back up and his understanding of grappling is impressive.”
“The best I’ve ever felt, the best I’ve ever seen... his understanding of what I needed to do and what positions I needed to be in to advance. He was steps ahead of me,” he added.
Poirier bounced back from the Nurmagomedov loss with three straight victories, including back-to-back stoppage wins over UFC superstar Conor McGregor. Khabib fought once more at UFC 254 before relinquishing his title and retiring following a submission win over Justin Gaethje.
Poirier will return to the octagon on Dec. 11 to take on Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title in the UFC 269 main event at a TBA location.