Dustin Poirier teases retirement after UFC 302 clash with Islam Makhachev

Dustin Poirier has admitted he could retire after his title fight with Islam Makhachev at UFC 302.

Poirier is hoping to win the undisputed lightweight belt at the third time of asking when he challenges Makhachev on 1 June.

The American, 35, held the interim title in 2019 but failed to unify the belts against Makhachev’s friend and mentor Khabib, losing by submission. In 2021, Poirier challenged for the gold again and was submitted by Charles Oliveira.

And the “Diamond” has admitted he is unlikely to persevere if he loses the UFC 302 main event, amid rumours that he could retire.

“I’m not going to climb the ladder again,” Poirier told CBS on Thursday (23 May). “I’ve been doing this a long time.

“It’s a very selfish sport. I’m ready to be a father and be a husband and be home and be into a routine. I wouldn’t say I can’t do it again; I can do it again, it’s just...

“This is it for me. This could be the last one. I’m still on the fence, win or lose. I just want to be content with my career. It’s a thing where I have to digest it and be okay with it [if I lose], because that’s how life goes.

“Of course, I’m looking at the brighter side and trying to be positive that I’m going to finish the story and seal the deal and become undisputed lightweight champ after my 31st fight in the UFC. What a story that would be.”

Poirier last fought in March, knocking out Benoit Saint-Denis at UFC 299. The result saw the American bounce back from a knockout loss to Justin Gaethje last July.

Dustin Poirier (left) knocked out Benoit Saint-Denis in round two in March (Getty Images)
Dustin Poirier (left) knocked out Benoit Saint-Denis in round two in March (Getty Images)

Poirier, a fan favourite, holds wins over multiple undisputed UFC champions – including Conor McGregor twice, Max Holloway twice, Michael Chandler, Eddie Alvarez and Anthony Pettis.

However, the 35-year-old did not beat any of those fighters while they were defending champions, though Holloway was the reigning featherweight king when Poirier beat him for the second time to become interim lightweight champion.