Poirier 'Haunted' by Loss, Gaethje NSFW Tweet to McGregor, White Praises Khabib

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 9, 2019

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - SEPTEMBER 07:  Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia (top) punches Dustin Poirier in their lightweight championship bout during UFC 242 at The Arena on September 7, 2019 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

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Poirier Says Khabib Loss Will 'Haunt' Him

It's fair to say Dustin Poirier has some regrets after his submission defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242 on Saturday.

The Russian ended the fight with a rear-naked choke in the third round to unify the lightweight division:

Per MMA Fighting's Alexander K. Lee, Poirier said:

"I'm familiar with adversity. It's just I have to live the rest of my life asking myself if I could have done more, if I could have maybe escaped some of those takedowns. If I could have pushed harder when I had my underhooks against the fence.

"Those are the questions that will haunt me. I've lost before."

The Diamond cut an emotional figure in his post-fight press conference:

So too in an interview with BT Sport:

The 30-year-old (25-6, 1 NC) became the interim lightweight champion in April when he beat Max Holloway for the first title of his UFC career.

It was only the second submission defeat of his career and the first time he has lost in that manner since he faced Chan Sung Jung in 2012.

                        

Justin Gaethje Hits out at Conor McGregor with NSFW Tweet

Conor McGregor watched Nurmagomedov's win over Poirier with interest, but after demanding a rematch with The Eagle on Twitter, he found himself called out by Justin Gaethje (warning: contains profanity):

Gaethje also responded to some of the replies he received:

Per MMA Junkie's Nolan King, in another reply, Gaethje also said he despises "what [McGregor] represents" as well as those "who defend the person he is."

In August, footage surfaced of McGregor punching a man in an Irish bar. That same month, The Notorious had charges of criminal mischief and robbery against him dropped after he settled with a man whose phone he had stamped on.

Last year, the Irishman did not contest a count of disorderly conduct and had to perform five days of community service after he threw a metal dolly at a bus carrying other fighters ahead of UFC 223, which resulted in injuries to Michael Chiesa and Ray Borg.

Gaethje will fight Donald Cerrone next Saturday at Fight Night 158, and MMA writer Damon Martin feels McGregor would be an obvious next opponent:

Gaethje is 20-2 in MMA, though both of those defeats have come since he joined the UFC in 2017.

                          

Dana White: Khabib Approaching 'GOAT' Status

UFC President Dana White waxed lyrical about Nurmagomedov after his lightweight unification win over Poirier and suggested he's on the verge of becoming a legend in the sport.

Per MMA Junkie's Nolan King and John Morgan, he said the following after the Russian's third-round submission victory: "[He's] pretty special, man. I think he's a couple fights away from potential GOAT status. To go undefeated for this long, for this many fights, especially in a division that's that stacked, he's looking down the barrel of a pretty special career."

White added: "He looked unbelievable. Incredibly dominant, even though there was some drama in there when he was caught in that guillotine. A lot of people don't get out of that thing. Khabib is so good he got out."

Pro Fight League's Chamatkar Sandhu and ESPN's Ariel Helwani were in awe of him as he extended his record to 28-0:

Nurmagomedov won the lightweight title last year with a win over Al Iaquinta, after McGregor was stripped of the belt for inactivity.

He successfully defended it against McGregor last October but was hit with a nine-month suspension for his part in a post-fight brawl, enabling Poirier his chance to win the interim title.

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