Why fight Benoit Saint Denis? Dustin Poirier says UFC 299 matchup will ‘right the ship’

MIAMI – Dustin Poirier vs. Benoit Saint Denis wasn’t on many MMA fan’s bingo boards entering 2024, but here it is.

Saturday, the two scrappy lightweights competed in UFC 299‘s five-round co-main event at Kaseya Center. Poirier (29-8 MMA, 21-7 UFC) understands what Saint Denis (13-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) has to gain in the fight, the opportunity to build off his name. But in Poirier’s eyes, a decisive victory over a surging Saint Denis could bear fruit as well.

“I think a lot of that depends on how I win,” Poirier told MMA Junkie and other reporters at a pre-fight news conference Wednesday. “If it’s a big finish or something like that, I believe I’m a win away from a title shot with a great performance. But it rights the ship. It gets me back in the win column. We take it from there. I try not to look too far past these fights because Saturday isn’t here yet. We’ve got to go out there and do the damn thing. Sunday, we reassess and really see where we’re at and what’s next.”

Poirier, 35, is in a unique spot. In one of the UFC’s most entertaining, popular and star-filled divisions, Poirier has competed against many of the top 155-pound athletes – some of them, twice.

Only wanting to take fights that truly intrigue him, Poirier doesn’t want fans to interpret that as a hint he’ll retire.

“I’ve been seeing people say that a lot,” Poirier said. “I think that’s because about a week ago, and somebody asked me, ‘Is this your last fight if it doesn’t go your way.’ I said, ‘Any fight can be my last one – win or lost. I’ve been doing this a long time.’ And I think that’s where they ran off with it. I just got to fight. We’ve just got to fight Saturday.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 299.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie