Saturday night, Dustin Poirier (20-4) faces Michael Johnson (16-10) in the main event in a battle of Lightweights. Poirier is new to the Lightweight Division, and he’s not second-guessing the decision to move up.
“My training camps are smoother. Everyday life is smoother,” he said on FS1 “UFC Tonight” this week. “I used to dread training camps and felt run down half way through. Ten pounds isn’t much, but when you train every day carrying less body fat, I felt like I was carrying bumps and bruises more.”
His mindset has changed in another way. He is now a father. He said prior to this fight it was all about him, and that has changed. “I’ve always fought for myself and I wanted to be the world champion,” he said. “Now I have a daughter at home. It’s one thing to fight for yourself, but it’s a whole different game to fight for my family and that’s what I’m doing now.”
Fighting for his family means competing in big money fights. That means he’s aiming for the championship, although camp pride in the ATT vs. Blackzilians is still a factor. “It’ll be cool to slap high fives with the guys when I get back in the gym,” he said. “But I’ve got mouths to feed and I’ve got to continue this thing. I want that belt.”
Another big money fight would be a rematch against Conor McGregor, whom he lost to almost exactly two years ago less than two minutes into their fight at UFC 178. It was his last loss, and his only loss since February 2013. Poirier, though, says he isn’t preoccupied with that, but if McGregor were champ at 155 when he became no. 1 contender, he likes the idea of that fight. “My goal isn’t to avenge losses. My goal is the title and if he’s there. What a great Cinderella story that would be.”
(Keller’s Analysis: Given how exciting Poirier has been in the Octagon, if he were to get on a hot streak and become the top contender, and in the mean time McGregor won the Light Heavyweight Title, that would be a high-anticipated and marketable fight.)
CHECK OUT THE POIRIER INTERVIEW IN THIS VIDEO: CLICK HERE