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‘I have bet on myself’ - Dustin Poirier discusses gambling in MMA, approves ban on fighters betting

In our exclusive interview with Dustin Poirier, the former UFC interim lightweight champion talks about betting on himself, and the chaos surrounding the MMA gambling scene.

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‘I have bet on myself’ - Dustin Poirier discusses gambling in MMA, approves ban on fighters betting

The UFC’s former interim lightweight champion, Dustin Poirier, just sat down for an exclusive interview with Bloody Elbow and ‘The Diamond’ touched on a number of subjects, both typical and controversial.

When asked about who he would favor in a potential matchup between Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler, Poirier mentioned that he would put money on McGregor in that one. Poirier quickly realized what he had said, and immediately exclaimed with the caveat being that he is not allowed to bet on MMA.

Poirier went on to admit to betting on himself in the past, and explained how the UFC’s ban on MMA betting has actually saved him a lot of money. Poirier explained how being able to see other people train allows him the ability to view certain matchups from a different angle than the public — and he described how betting on those fights would be considered insider trading. Ultimately, Poirier expressed how he has no issue being completely omitted from the betting side of mixed martial arts.

Eddie Mercado: Who would you favor in a Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler matchup?

Dustin Poirier: ...I would put money on Conor if the fight happens. NOT THAT I CAN! I CAN’T BET. I CAN’T BET MMA!

EM: Haha right! Correct, correct! (waves arms back and forth to stop the fight) Got to put that caveat out there. What a crazy end to 2022. What do you think of all that betting stuff?

DP: Dude, I’m glad it happened because I usually do bet on fights. I’m glad it happened right before that [Sean] O’Malley - [Petr] Yan fight because I would have lost a bunch of money. I would have bet [Mateusz] Gamrot to beat [Beneil] Dariush, I would have bet Petr to beat O’Malley. I would’ve lost a bunch of money, so they saved me some money. But what I think of the whole picture of it, I don’t know. I don’t know the details. I know they have some things that were fishy, and maybe we’ll get some clarity as time goes on about everything that happened. But I have no clue exactly what’s going on.

EM: Before this, were you someone that would bet on yourself going in?

DP: I have. I have bet on myself before. Nothing crazy to like brag about, but I definitely bet $200 here, couple hundred. You know stuff like that. And I don’t think that’s the problem. The problem is if I was betting against myself. Then, we have a problem.

But still, it’s insider trading. If I’m training with these guys, and they have an injury going into a fight or whatever, I’m seeing it from a different angle than the public and the matchmakers are seeing it. So, I can see it’s just not a good look in general, and I have no problem being removed from the betting side of mixed martial arts.

———

It looks as though “The Diamond” got in while the getting was good, but seems content to walk away from gambling on MMA fights. That sounds like a healthy place to be, especially considering the various endeavours that Poirier has going on that he cannot risk losing. There’s his Good Fight Foundation, Poirier’s Louisiana Hot Sauce, and he has recently teamed up with Timex (who facilitated this interview).

The UFC has also partnered up with Timex for them to be the promotion’s official timekeeper, and despite the recent gambling woes, the world’s premiere MMA league is still firmly rooted in their deal with DraftKings Sportsbook.

About the author: Eddie Mercado is a writer and content creator for Bloody Elbow, and has covered combat sports since 2015. Eddie covers everything from betting odds and live events, to conducting fighter interviews and co-hosting the 6th Round post-fight show and the 6th Round Retro. He retired at 1-0 in professional MMA, competed in one Muay Thai match in Thailand, and is currently a purple belt in Jiu-Jitsu under the great Diego Bispo.


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