Mike Brown reveals what cameras missed after he told Dustin Poirier ‘no more guillotines’ at UFC 299

Dustin Poirier lives by a code that you miss 100 percent of the guillotines you don’t jump.

That infamous philosophy entered the world after Poirier repeatedly tried guillotine chokes against Benoit Saint Denis at UFC 299 against the advice of his coaches, who could be heard in his corner telling him “no more guillotines” after the first round. Poirier has a nasty guillotine choke and he never hesitates to use it, even if the move almost always ends with him in a bad position after his opponent slips free from the submission.

It turns out cameras actually missed the rest of the interaction between Poirier and his head coach Mike Brown at UFC 299, which is where he told the Louisiana native to stop looking for that same submission.

“They actually didn’t play it in between the rounds, after the first round I said, ‘No more guillotines,’ and then they switched to the other corner,” Brown told MMA Fighting. “But right after I said that, Dustin said, ‘No, but I can hit it! I can hit it!’ I just replied, ‘You crazy bastard.’

“I literally said that and then he went and jumped another one. They didn’t play that part, but there was more words said after I said don’t jump the guillotine.”

Poirier ultimately beat Saint Denis by knockout, but he’s been rather adamant that a failed guillotine attempt won’t stop him from going for the choke again in the future.

Despite never finishing a fight with a guillotine, Brown knows Poirier is effective with the technique because he’s witnessed it in the gym hundreds of times over the years.

“He puts a lot of guys to sleep in the gym, to be honest,” Brown said. “He does have a very good one. He just hasn’t hit them in the fight.”

While his instructions to stop going for guillotine chokes got a lot of attention around the Saint Denis fight, Brown admits that Poirier’s love of the submission actually got a bigger reaction out of him during a different matchup a couple of years ago.

“The fight where I was losing my mind is the fight with [Dan] Hooker,” Brown said. “Because he had lost the first two rounds and then he was battling back and then he was jumping guillotine in those later rounds, and had he got stuck on bottom in any one of those rounds, he would have lost the third round and wouldn’t have won the decision.

“But somehow he wouldn’t hit the guillotine, but he would somehow scramble to get back to his feet and start dropping bombs on him and doing damage, and then somehow stealing the round anyway. He would somehow find a way to make it work. He made us sweat and bite our nails in that one, that’s for sure.”

Poirier’s next chance to land a guillotine choke comes at UFC 302 on June 1 when he faces reigning lightweight champion Islam Makhachev in the main event.

Back in 2019, when he faced then-champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242, Poirier famously went for his guillotine choke — and for a moment looked as if he might become the first person to hand the undefeated Russian a loss. It wasn’t meant to be, however, as Nurmagomedov escaped and used his top position to rain down punishment on Poirier before eventually securing a rear-naked choke submission of his own to finish the fight.

Now, five years later, Poirier faces Nurmagomedov’s protege Makhachev, and Brown admits it would be rather poetic if a guillotine ends up winning him the UFC lightweight title.

“It absolutely could happen,” Brown said. “He’s done so much in the sport. I almost feel like he doesn’t have anything more to prove, but this is the one box he has to check. I feel like he’s a champion even though he hasn’t won a title, a true UFC title. He’s won the interim. I feel like he’s a champion in my eyes.”

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