Dustin Poirier hasn’t competed since suffering his first defeat at lightweight, which came to Michael Johnson at UFC Fight Night 94.
Poirier will be facing fellow lightweight Jim Miller at UFC 208 this weekend, he’s also learning to let go of his emotions when he returns to the Octagon.
“I need to be more defensively responsible when I’m fighting, I need to respect everybody’s punching power, and not get so emotional,” Poirier told MMA Junkie. “It cost me – every fight that I’ve ever really wanted to hurt the guy and felt that anger, I’ve made huge mistakes. (I need to) just take a step back and use my skill. I’ve been doing this a long time.”
Poirier also competed as a featherweight in the UFC, but made the move to lightweight after a loss to Chan Sung Jung in his first UFC main event. While Poirier wanted to fight a top 10 opponent upon his UFC return, he eventually went with Miller because he felt an exciting fight on the premises.
“I was trying to get a top-10 guy,” Poirier said. “Jim Miller’s name came up and I said, ‘This is an exciting fight.’ This guy has been in eight ‘Fight of the Night’s.’ I’ve been watching him for a long time. He’s a respectful guy. I like guys like that. He’s just a hard worker and he’s been around a long time. For as many fights and ‘Fight of the Nights’ (he’s had), he’s far from shot. He’s still a very, very dangerous opponent and he’s always relevant.”
UFC 208 takes place on Saturday, February 11 from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York with Holly Holm and Germaine De Randamie headlining.