Dustin Poirier reacted to Eddie Alvarez’s recent claim that he quit during their bout UFC 211, insisting that it was the former lightweight champion deliberately used illegal strikes to find a way out of the contest.
“I thought it was going to be a very different fight,” Poirier told Ariel Helwani on the latest episode of The MMA Hour.
“I thought I was going to be a brawl and whoever landed flush first was going to win. It was a coin toss, I thought. Eddie showed his skills and he’s a veteran, man – he fought smart. He worked a lot on that game plan to go to the body and he looked really good.”
Poirier threw some shade on both Alvarez and Gaethje when he suggested that it wasn’t difficult to look impressive in the striking realms against an opponent “that doesn’t move”.
He also claimed that he fancied his chances at beating both men.
“I was pumped up, it was a great fight, but I feel like I can beat both those guys. Eddie fought a great fight, but make no mistake, it’s not that hard to look like a decent striker when you’re fighting a guy that doesn’t move,” he said.
“If you move in and out, throw shots and use angles and the guy’s feet are planted, you look a lot better. Eddie couldn’t spell ‘box’ when we fought in Dallas, much less exchange with me in the open when we moved around like that.
“It’s not hard to look great against a guy who isn’t moving a lot.”
Poirier underlined how he feels the rematch between him and Alvarez should have taken precedent over Alvarez’s coaching role on TUF and the Gaethje fight.
“I felt like that’s what happened before he got the TUF gig. That’s what should have happened,” Poirier said.
“I was winning the fight, some foul stuff happened, we should have ran it back. He shouldn’t have been rewarded with a TV show and another big fight, but this isn’t the fair business it’s the fight business so you just keep moving.”
After listening to clip of Alvarez alleging that he quit in their first fight, Poirier insisted that he lost respect for his former opponent as a person. He also claimed that the illegal knees that stopped their fight were “on purpose”.
“That’s cute,” he said in reaction to the clip.
“I’m not a quitter, man. Just look at my history. I don’t know what to say about that, but if he needs to tell people that to make himself feel better about the nine minutes and 30 seconds that he got his ass whipped, whatever.
“The thing is, I grew up looking up to Eddie. He was a big name fighting out in Japan and HD Net used to do specials on him and stuff. I was a young fighter then and I really liked the guy. Now, still, I respect the fighter. He’s a strong fighter and he has a lot of heart, but as a person he’s a b*tch, man.
“He’s talking sh*t. When I stood up for him in the heat of the moment I thought that maybe (the illegal knees) were accidents and now I’ve gone back and watched the fight as fan like you said.
“Now I think it was in purpose. It was a veteran move, he knew he was out of that fight and he saw an opportunity to land a strike on a guy and did it. I think he knew exactly what he was doing.
“He quit. I never quit anything in my life. I’m a fighter man, that’s ridiculous.”
Although Alvarez has previously suggested that he is uninterested in a rematch with Poirier, “The Diamond” still thinks a do-over makes sense.
“It makes sense if we had no history and it makes even more sense now that we have history. Fans want to see it, I want to do it again, I’m not so sure about him.”
He added: “Me and Eddie are going to fight and the rest of the division can play itself out in the meantime. We got another big fight with Edson and Khabib coming up. Everything is going to fall into place at the perfect time. I have confidence.”
Instead of brawling with Alvarez, Poirier insisted he would “finesse” the former UFC champion:
“There will be blood for sure, but I’m not going in there and planting my feet and seeing who is gonna fall first. I’m going to go in there and finesse him again.”