The Making of a Legend: Dustin Poirier's Battle for Respect

After a great victory over the young Frenchman Saint Denis, Dustin Poirier impressed the critics and paved the way for the Hall of Fame

by Sededin Dedovic
The Making of a Legend: Dustin Poirier's Battle for Respect
© Megan Briggs / Getty Images

In the exciting world of the UFC, where fan expectations often collide with fighters' ambitions, Dustin Poirier has stood his ground, reshaping his legacy with every step inside the Octagon. Over the past few years, Poirier has been a lightning rod for criticism, as he has consistently fought two types of fights: title fights and what he calls "money fights." This approach has angered some fans who doubt his commitment to the sport.

However, Poirier silenced his critics with a resounding performance in a recent bout against Benoit Saint Denis. For Poirier, the decision to face Saint Denis wasn't about securing a title or a lucrative payday. Instead, it was about making a statement and reaffirming his position as the top contender in the lightweight division.

Despite the risk of facing a dangerous opponent with little success in terms of rankings, Poirier resolutely accepted the challenge. Saint Denis, known for his ruthless style and impressive finishing speed, posed a huge threat to Poirier's aspirations.

However, Poirier's resilience and skill were on full display as he weathered his opponent's early storm. Despite the adversity in the first round, Poirier rallied in the second, eventually securing the knockout victory and cementing his place among the division's elite.

During the fight against Saint Denis, Dustin Poirier managed to frustrate not only his corner but also the fans. Multiple times, Poirier attempted to finish his opponent with a "guillotine" choke, but he struggled to secure it, often finding himself in compromising positions.

Benoit Saint Denis of France fights Dustin Poirier during their lightweight bout at UFC 299© Megan Briggs / Getty Images

Immediately after the fight, Poirier was seen to take a heavy load off his back. After the fight, Poirier expressed his respect for Saint Denis, acknowledging the challenges he overcame as a former member of French special forces.

"I don't know, I was getting beat up by this guy, but I got him in the end. I hit him a couple of times in the beginning, but the guy is pretty strong.' ', were Dustin's first words during the conversation with Joe Rogan. "I accepted this fight because Saint Denis finished his last five opponents.

He's not a world-famous name, he's still on the way up, but he's finished his last five opponents. He is dangerous and every one of his wins has come by stoppage. He never gives up. I watched some of his matches because he fought one of my friends and watching those matches I said to myself: 'You know what, I have to take this match because I want to pay tribute to this game'

"Eddie Alvarez gave me a chance when he was a former champion and I was on my way up," Dustin explained. The significance of this victory was not lost on Poirier, who entered the fight with the weight of the previous defeat hanging over him.

His ability to bounce back from defeat and emerge victorious against a tough opponent speaks volumes for his character. "I'm only human and I have a lot of respect for his mindset and fighting spirit. He's a tough guy and if he decides to come back, he'll do it, no doubt.

I want to show respect to him because he defended his country and was part of the army. At the same time, I want to thank all the men and women who make America the country of the free and the home of the brave,'' Poirier concluded.

UFC president Dana White was effusive in his praise for Poirier, hailing his performance as legendary. White stressed the importance of facing tough opponents and seizing opportunities. "Everyone said it was a bad match for Poirier, so Poirier said he didn't sign the contract, etc.

These are the things that make you a legend! These are legendary fights, when you face a guy who is a savage, who people think you can't beat, but you do it and you do it in a spectacular way like Poirier did tonight," said a visibly pleased Dana White.

Looking ahead, Poirier's legacy in the UFC is secure. At age 35, he continues to compete at the highest level and remains a perennial competitor in one of the most competitive divisions in the sport. As fans, it's time to recognize Poirier's contributions and appreciate him as a future Hall of Famer.

Despite criticism and past failure, he remained steadfast in his pursuit of greatness, and it paid off in the end. This was realized and acknowledged by the fans as well as the management of the UFC, and Poirier became a true legend of this sport, and in the relatively recent past he was a young fighter full of potential.

Dustin Poirier