Dustin Poirier explains the real reason he filed an appeal in his fight with Eddie Alvarez
Dustin Poirier engaged in an epic battle with former lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez this past Saturday night at UFC 211, but the fight ended after a trio of illegal knees brought a stop to the contest.
It all went down in the second round after the fighters exchanged punches with both Poirier and Alvarez gaining the upper hand and nearly finishing the fight. The end came after Alvarez pushed Poirier against the cage and unloaded three bit knee strikes aimed at the head with the final one nearly knocking out his opponent.
Unfortunately, Poirier was considered a downed fighter, which means Alvarez is not allowed to throw knees to the head much less do that much damage with his strikes. Despite the foul, referee Herb Dean declared the fight a no contest rather than a disqualification, which didn’t sit well with Poirier or his manager.
That’s why they filed an appeal with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation to have the no contest overturned, but Poirier says fighting the result has nothing to do with getting a win over Alvarez.
It’s all about the money.
“My manager is chasing this to get overturned. He already filed [an appeal] so we’ll get it looked at again and see what really happened, but that’s not what I care about. I care about the money,” Poirier explained on the Fight Society podcast.
“Of course, I want to win fights and build my record and beat former champs, but at the end of the day I’m a prize fighter and this is how I feed my family and pay my bills. I have a certain amount of years I can do this at the top level and somebody shouldn’t be able to take that away from me. If I went out there and lost, that’s one thing, but whenever it’s out of my hands completely, that’s a whole other thing.”
Because the fight was ruled a no contest, neither Poirier or Alvarez receive their contracted win bonus, which in many cases cuts a fighter’s pay in half.
That’s what Poirier wants more than anything else because he believes he should at home right now with his full paycheck after he was the victim of an illegal strike that rendered him unable to continue.
Poirier also makes it clear that he wasn’t “playing the game” where some fighters are accused of manipulating the rules so an opponent can’t throw knees to the head despite not actually being down on the ground.
“I’ve been in the UFC [for] 20 fights now. I’m not the kind of guy who’s going out there trying to squeak out an easy win or trying to play the rules like that. I don’t care whether it’s a win or a loss on my record or on his record, but I just want to be compensated,” Poirier explained. “I just did an eight week camp and the fight was taken out of my hands by something I have no control over. I don’t think me and my family should be affected by that.
“I gave it my all, put in a great camp and I was well on the way to dismantling the former world champion and then something happened that was out of my control. I don’t think I should punished for that.”
While Poirier awaits word from the Texas commission on his appeal, he’s still holding out hope that the UFC will make things right for him financially regardless of the decision that’s rendered in the fight.
The UFC has given fighters a win bonus in the past when there’s been an egregious error in scoring or a decision that’s rendered and Poirier hopes they’ll do right by him in this instance.
“I honestly believe the UFC’s going to do the right thing or make this right somehow because I believe they have a good track record of taking care of guys when they know things were done wrong,” Poirier said.
As far as the future goes, Poirier admits after rewatching the fight once he returned home, he did get a little upset at Alvarez throwing the knees when he was clearly down on the ground, but he also doesn’t consider the former lightweight champion a dirty fighter.
That being said, Poirier would like nothing more than a chance to finish what he started against Alvarez on Saturday night with a rematch in the UFC later this year.
“Let’s do it,” Poirier said. “We can get a great build up. Everybody knows it’s going to be a great fight and now we have a reason to get back in there with each other. A lot went on and a lot needs to be solved and the only way to solve it is to get back in there.”