Dustin Poirier does not need to win the UFC lightweight championship to cement his legacy as one of the greatest fighters of all time, according to broadcaster Jon Anik.
Anik praised Poirier’s wild performance at UFC 281, where he defeated Michael Chandler via third-round submission, earning Fight of the Night honors.
“I don’t even know how to be articulate when talking about Dustin Poirier, I just want to call him an f’ing gangster and say, ‘Oh my f’ing God, this guy, man,’” Anik told MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck during a recent interview. “Durability, focus, boxing fundamentals — gosh, if you’re in an alley, don’t you want f****** guy [with you], bro?”
Anik, who has been calling Poirier’s fights for the last 10 years, said ‘The Diamond’s’ impressive UFC record (21-6, 1 NC) speaks for itself and that he doesn’t need a title to prove his greatness.
“Dustin Poirier is incredible, and I don’t think he needs an undisputed UFC lightweight championship to prove any sort of greatness,” he said. “This was a difficult matchup [for Poirier] in a lot of respects. Michael Chandler’s explosivity is a problem for a lot of people, and maybe if Chandler makes a little bit of a different decision at times in this fight, the narrative flips.”
Anik was particularly impressed by Poirier’s victory over Chandler, citing the durability and tenacity he displayed during the fight.
“Dustin Poirier’s ability to recognize when he’s hurt, bite down on the mouthpiece, and then, obviously, his skill set is such that he as able to submit a guy in this setting, his ability to rise to the occasion, and then just the attitude after the fact to tell Michael Chandler — however respectfully or not — that this is his house, the octagon, which he’s essentially competed 30 times. Huge night for Poirier in proving that his UFC body of work counts for a whole lot, and obviously I have buckets of respect for Chandler in defeat.”
Despite coming up short in title fights with Khabib Nurmagomedov and Charles Oliveira, Poirier has cemented his reputation as one of the most respected fighters in the sport, with notable victories over Michael Chandler, Conor McGregor (2x), and Justin Gaethje. He is expected to return to the Octagon next year against a TBA opponent.