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Dustin Poirier's Unexpected 2024 Comeback: From Near Retirement to UFC 302 Title Shot

Dustin Poirier
Black Belt Plus

The first half of 2024 has unfolded in unexpected ways for Dustin Poirier, the former interim lightweight champion.

After a loss in July 2023 to Justin Gaethje, Poirier contemplated retiring. However, he made a surprising return to the ring in March, accepting a fight against the lesser-known but skilled Benoit Saint Denis.

Poirier managed to overcome early challenges from the French fighter, securing a second-round victory. For Justin Poirier, this win paved the way for a title shot against the reigning champion, Islam Makhachev, at UFC 302 in Newark, New Jersey. Poirier, reflecting on his journey, admits he never foresaw this dramatic turnaround. "It felt like the end of the world last year, and this year I'm on a high," he said, emphasizing the unpredictable nature of the sport.

Despite facing a tough opponent in Makhachev, Poirier remains determined. His career has been defined by his refusal to accept defeat and his readiness to face any challenge.

"I hate losing and I work so hard and I believe that I can beat anybody in the world," he declared.

As Poirier prepares for what could be one of the defining fights of his career, he remains focused on his goals. Winning the undisputed title would not only mark a significant achievement in his professional life but also enhance his legacy, potentially securing his place in the UFC Hall of Fame.

Poirier also contemplates his future beyond fighting. While a lucrative rematch with Conor McGregor might tempt some, Poirier is clear about his priorities: "I want to be a father, a husband, I want to be home with my family barbecuing. I want a regular schedule. I want to be a civilian again."

His ultimate goal is to find contentment, reflecting on a career that has had its highs and lows. This fight against Makhachev might just be the perfect climax to his storied journey in MMA.

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