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Poirier reflects on loss to Khabib: I was so close to winning the title

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Dustin Poirier reflects on his haunting submission loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242.

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Dustin Poirier was just inches away from submitting Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242, but ‘The Diamond’ made an error that will likely haunt him for the rest of his life.

Poirier explained to Joe Rogan that he made a huge mistake in not transitioning to a D’Arce or anaconda choke when he had Khabib in trouble with a guillotine in the second round. That transition, Poirier says, would have won him the fight.

“I just know how close it was,” Poirier said on a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience. (h/t MMA Fighting). “A game of inches, and I know how close it was. What haunts me more than [not pulling] full guard is me not switching to a D’Arce or anaconda [choke] when he rolled to his side.”

Poirier, who was submitted by Khabib in the following round, went on to credit ‘The Eagle’ for being one of the most technical grapplers he’s ever faced — a true master of his craft.

“I don’t know if he’s the strongest guy I ever fought,” Poirier said. “It’s just his understanding of balance and weight placement was incredible. I’ve been fighting and wrestling a long time, as well, but he just knew where my weight was and where it needed to be for me to stay up with his foot trips. It’s hard to explain, man, but he’s good.”

Poirier didn’t have much to say about Nurmagomedov’s retirement but hinted that he made the right decision.

“The longer you stay...it’s not a long game,” Poirier said. “Something bad’s going to happen.”

Poirier is expected to return to the UFC later this year to complete his trilogy with Conor McGregor. The pair are tied 1-1, with McGregor KO’ing Poirier in a featherweight contest back in 2014 and the latter beating ‘The Notorious’ via second-round TKO at UFC 257 this past January.

Poirier said he would like to submit McGregor in the rematch.

“I haven’t finished anybody in the UFC [via guillotine]. It’s coming. I’ll get ya.”