UFC Sauce Boss Dustin Poirier Is Still Ready to Rumble

Of Poirier's 30 wins, 15 have come by knockout

Dustin Poirier holds up his hands in victory.
Dustin Poirier has proven himself to be a bad, bad man.
Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Thirty-five-year-old lightweight contender Dustin Poirier owns a record of 30-8 overall with 15 wins by KO, which comes after UFC 299 when he secured a swift second-round knockout of Benoît Saint-Denis. That night, he also earned himself an extra $50,000 by scoring “Fight of the Night” honors for a record-tying ninth time. Poirier, who announced a partnership with Bud Light after knocking out Saint-Denis, is hoping the victory will allow him to lock down a fight with current UFC lightweight world champion Islam Makhachev — but he’s open to taking on previous opponent, Conor McGregor.

Poirier, who refers to himself as the “Sauce Boss” because he has his own line of spicy condiments (as a handful of celebrities have started to do), has already fought McGregor three times. McGregor hasn’t fought since 2021, but if he comes back, Poirier will give him a warm welcome back to the Octagon. “Your guess is as good as mine, I don’t think so,” Poirier tells InsideHook of his rival’s potential return to UFC. “I whipped his ass two times. If he wants three, be my guest.”

Before Poirier fights McGregor or anyone else, we caught up with him to talk about fighting, his legacy and, perhaps most importantly, hot sauce.

InsideHook: How meaningful is it for you to be recognized with honors like “Fight of the Night” at this point?

Dustin Poirier: The “Fight of the Night” stuff is just a byproduct of who I am and the way I fight. It further solidifies that I leave it all out there every time. I don’t have a boring fight. Win, lose or draw, I’m coming in there to scrap. That’s why my fanbase has grown the way it has. They know when my name’s on a headline or if I’m on the card, it’s going to be a fight. Getting that last award was awesome because I feel that’s one of the longevity records that is going to be tough to beat. People don’t want to be in “Fight of the Night.” That means it was a scrap. You took damage and gave damage. To be in “Fight of the Night” means you went through it. I pride myself on leaving it all out there.

Dustin Poirier punches Benoit Saint Denis in a fight at UFC 299.
Dustin Poirier unloaded on Benoit Saint Denis at UFC 299 in Miami.
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty

Given the physicality of the sport, is it difficult to keep doing that time after time?

That’s just who I am — fighting is life for me. Never say die. I’m all-in with this stuff. I don’t get complacent. I don’t even understand that. I’m always trying to get better and trying to beat these guys. It’s war. Only the strong survive. That’s my mindset with this stuff.

Do you go through a routine to get the juices flowing both physically and mentally?

I used to have routines that I’ve kind of broken away from over the years. For years, I used to do the same warmup, have the same kind of mindset and wear the same color underwear and socks. I broke myself away from that because I didn’t want anything holding me back. Now the only thing that’s consistent is something funky like James Brown or the Gap Band playing in my dressing room. That’s the only thing that’s consistent.

Has your mentality or approach to fighting changed during the course of your UFC career?

I’ve changed, 100%. You have to evolve. If I was the same person I was when I started doing this, I would’ve wasted 18 years of my life. Every day, every year, every fight, I’m changing and getting better. I think most importantly, I’ve always had a good work ethic. If I would’ve had a different mindset at the beginning of my career, I think it would’ve been better. But you have to go through those battles and evolve as a person. The way I view and think about the sport and the critics is completely different from when I was fighting as an 18-year-old kid. It never gets old. I’m still starving for wins like when I was an 18-year-old kid fighting. That’s what I want.

Have you ever had a hot sauce that was as painful as one of your fights?

Plenty of times. I did the Hot Ones YouTube show. The sauces they sent me were brutal. After the show ended, I was chewing and sucking on ice cubes for 40 minutes. I couldn’t get it out of my mouth. It was horrible, horrible. It’s a similar mindset to fighting. Like, “Just get through this, it’s gonna be rough,” but nothing compares to fighting for your life.

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When all is said and done, what do you want your legacy to be?

That’s a deep question. There’s a lot of things that come to my mind. I want to be remembered as a guy who fought his ass off, earned everything he has and never said no. I’m a real fighter. I was a kid who chased his dream and made all this happen from nothing. I fought for everything I have and want people to remember that. I’m just a guy who chased his dreams and left it all out there. And I want to keep taking over the hot sauce world. I’m the Sauce Boss.

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