Dustin Poirier would love to box before it’s all said and done.
Poirier is one of the most accomplished and popular fighters currently competing in the UFC. A mainstay of the promotion since 2011, over his 29-fight UFC career, Poirier has won an interim title, multiple Fight of the Year awards, and countless other accolades, elevating himself to that rarified “living legend” status. And like so many MMA legends these days, Poirier also hopes to one day try his hand at the sweet science.
“Boxing? I would like to before it’s all done, but I don’t think it’s ever going to happen,” Poirier said on The MMA Hour. “I think I have like 5-6 more fights left on my contract with the UFC. I would like to.
“The first time I ever put on a pair of gloves they were boxing gloves. I thought I was going to be a boxer.”
In recent years, a number of MMA legends have made the move over to boxing, from Anderson Silva to Nate Diaz to Poirier’s teammate Jorge Masvidal, who retired from MMA last year only to recently start making overtures towards boxing. And while other fighters have done so for various reasons, Poirier appears primarily to be motivated in checking in on the road not taken, saying he was first inspired by boxing before he took up MMA.
“I loved combat sports. I loved boxing first. I would watch fights and I would be inspired by it, and I knew whatever those guys were showing in there, fighting through the blood and the grit, kept pushing forward, whatever that was, I knew I had it. I knew I had that.
“I knew about cage fighting. Me and my dad used to watch VHS tapes from mom and pop video stores back in the day. Of course I knew about cage fighting, and I had wrestled a little bit when I was younger, didn’t know anything about jiu-jitsu, but when I met those guys in the boxing gym and they started telling me where they trained and did kickboxing and jiu-jitsu, that next weekend I was at their gym and never came back.”
Ultimately, Poirier doesn’t regret his decision to switch to MMA. Obviously it worked out for him, after all. But if the opportunity comes, he still thinks he can prove himself capable in the squared circle, even if at the end of the day, he knows where his bread is buttered.
“I happy with where it went,” Poirier said. “I think I would have done well in boxing. I still think I can do well in boxing, but I’m an MMA fighter.”
Poirier most recently competed in the main event of UFC 291, losing to Justin Gaethje by second round knockout. He is now targeting a return to action at UFC 300 next April.