Poirier is still 'haunted' by how close he came to submitting Khabib

Dustin Poirier is still ‘haunted’ by how close he came to submitting Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2019 but hails Russian’s ‘incredible understanding of balance and weight placement’

  • Dustin Poirier spoke about how close he was to beating Khabib Nurmagomedov 
  • During UFC 242 showdown on Fight Island, Poirier had a choke in deep 
  • Eventually, Khabib managed to escape and execute a submission of his own
  • Poirier regrets not transitioning to another submission while on the ground 

Dustin Poirier still agonizes over what might have been in his title shot against Khabib Nurmagomedov back in 2019. 

‘Diamond’, who defeated Conor McGregor on Fight Island in January, came close to handing Khabib the first loss of his professional career. 

He had the champion in trouble with a deep guillotine attempt but the Russian eventually managed to escape and secure victory with a rear-naked choke in the third round. 

Khabib squeezed out of danger of a guillotine and Dustin Poirier still thinks about it 

The American came closer than most to beating Khabib but could not manage it  

Poirier reflected on the Joe Rogan Experience: ‘I just know how close it was.

‘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 may never have another chance to face Khabib, who retired after the emotional win over Justin Gaethje last year following the death of his father Abdulmanap. 

Despite Dana White’s best efforts to convince the Dagestani to come back, he is currently happy in retirement. 

When asked about what makes Khabib so good, Poirier added: ‘I don’t know if he’s the strongest guy I ever fought.

‘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.’

Poirer bounced back from his defeat in Abu Dhabi by beating Dan Hooker and then earning the biggest win of his career against McGregor in their January rematch. 

He is likely to cash in by taking on the Irishman in a trilogy clash later this year, which could yet be for the vacant lightweight title.  

Poirier achieved the biggest win of his career to date by beating Conor McGregor in January

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