Dana White praises Dustin Poirier after UFC 299 knockout win: ‘This is the s*** that makes you a f****** legend’

Dustin Poirier had a lot riding on his fight at UFC 299.

On paper, he probably shouldn’t have even entertained a matchup against a prospect like Benoit Saint Denis, who came into the night off five straight finishes but without any wins over top 10 ranked competition.

What’s more, Saint Denis’ overall resume paled in comparison to Poirier. But the former interim lightweight champion didn’t blink, and ultimately, he ended up capturing the “Fight of the Night” for putting Saint Denis away in the second round with a devastating knockout.

After the event ended, UFC CEO Dana White praised Poirier not only for his performance, but his willingness to step into the fire against a young, hungry contender hoping to take out a supposedly aging veteran.

“The fight that he took tonight with Benoit, when the talk first started, everybody was like, ‘Oh, this is a bad fight for Poirier, blah, blah, blah,’” White said at the UFC 299 post-fight press conference. “Then Poirier came out and said ‘you know what, I didn’t sign’ and all this [other stuff].

“This is the s*** that makes you a f****** legend. These are legendary fights.”

Despite Saint Denis’ lesser experience, he was a sizable betting favorite to beat Poirier, according to the odds makers. Many believed the narrative for the fight was that the UFC would crown Saint Denis as the next major contender, effectively putting Poirier out to pasture.

White promises that couldn’t be further from the truth and had nothing but a glowing review for Poirier’s job.

“When you go in, and you face a guy who is a savage and looks like you can’t win this fight, or people think you can’t win this fight, and then you go in and do it in spectacular fashion, the way that he did tonight, a lot of these fighters get very [paranoid],” White said. “You’ve heard it many times in the past – [They say], ‘They want me to lose,’ or ‘They’re trying to make me lose.’ I heard some nutty s*** the other day from somebody that I won’t even mention, but we don’t determine whether you lose or whether you win — you do.

“What we try to do is put on the best matchmade fight that we can possibly do, and that’s why big stars are built in the UFC and legendary fights happen every weekend.”

The win over Saint Denis put Poirier back on track following a knockout loss to Justin Gaethje in his previous outing this past July.

Thanks to his star power and history in the division, Poirier never sits too far away from title contention, and his victory on Saturday only solidifies that standing.

White wasn’t ready to declare Poirier as a No. 1 contender based off the performance alone. But he knows that kind of win will only make his next fight that much bigger, no matter who he faces.

“Poirier, again like I just said, his stock again goes through the roof,” White said. “At his age, all the things he’s accomplished, all the things he’s done, look at what he did tonight.

“I don’t know if you guys are too busy typing or whatever the f*** it is you guys do during fights but if you stood up and saw the arena, it was insane. People were going nuts. Poirier went to a whole other level tonight with this fight.”

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