Dustin Poirier had been waiting two years for another shot at the UFC lightweight championship.
Yet after a stinging defeat, in which he was submitted in the third round by defending champion Charles Oliveira, his first action was one not of bitterness, but of sportsmanship. Speaking to Oliveira through an interpreter, Poirier told the Sao Paulo, Brazil, native that he wanted to make a donation to a charity of Oliveira’s choice.
“I would like to donate $20,000 to the hometown where he’s from to somewhere he picks. You pick where the money goes,” Poirier said in the Octagon following the fight.
UFC 269 RESULTS: Pena stuns Nunes, Oliveira retains title against Poirier
Poirier entered the fight as a favorite to unseat Oliveira, who was making his first title defense since defeating Michael Chandler for the vacant lightweight belt. Betting markets favored the experience of Poirier, who had fought against Conor McGregor twice as well as Khabib Nurmagomedov, Justin Gaethje and Dan Hooker. Poirier’s previous title fight came against Nurmagomedov on Sept. 7, 2019, in a unification bout after Poirier had won the interim belt from Max Holloway in April that year.
Poirier seemed to have the edge after a contentious first round that favored the heavy-hitting style of the challenger, but once the two began to grapple in the second round, Oliveira started to gain the edge. He leveraged his position on top to rain elbows down on Poirier and seize the momentum in the fight.
In the third round, Oliveira went right back at it, leaping on the back of Poirier and quickly placing him in a rear naked choke. Just 1:02 into the round, Poirier tapped out, extending Oliveira’s UFC record of submissions to 15 and giving him his first title defense.
“I’m the world champion,” Oliveira said through an interpreter after the fight. “I’m the man. They talk. I do it.”
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