Dustin Poirier has admitted that he turned down a shot at the UFC lightweight title so he could pursue a more lucrative fight with Conor McGregor.
The pair will take to the cage for a third fight on July 10 at UFC 264, with a shot at the newly-crowned champion Charles Oliveira up for grabs for the winner.
But Poirier has said that it could have been him in there with Michael Chandler at UFC 262 when Oliveira fought for, and won, his UFC belt.
But he chose to finish his trilogy with McGregor, a fighter who has been a thorn in his side since they first fought at UFC 178 back in 2014.
“Money is more important – I have mouths to feed” Poirier replied when asked if the finances of the bout meant more than the athletic rivalry.
“Good thing closing that door with Conor does both those things, but this is providing and I’m a provider, I owe it to my family.
“I made the decision pretty easily, if I am the best in the world then I’m going to beat Conor and fight for the belt, it’s like doubling down on yourself.
“I’m a gambling man and I believe in my skills in fighting, I just doubled down and that’s all it was.”
Poirier explained that for his bout with McGregor, as the previous winner going into the fight, he will receive a portion of the pay-per-view revenue for the event.
And given that the show is expected to be one of the top-selling PPV events in the history of Mixed Martial Arts, Poirier has predicted that he could make as much as ten times more than if he fought for the belt.
“Me fighting for the belt, I wouldn’t have got pay-per-view, I would have got a base salary of not even one third of my base salary for this fight, it just doesn’t make sense because I’m a prize fighter.
“I don’t want to put the UFC on blast, or put their numbers or the way we do deals out and make a big deal of it – but if I’m making five to ten times the amount of money to fight Conor again, I’m a father, a husband, I have priorities.
“I wouldn’t have got pay-per-view for the title fight, Conor fight I had pay-per-view points built in, there’s no question.
“I’m fighting a little bit more free, I can just go out there and fight, whatever happens tonight you can just perform your best and I think that helps me.”
Poirier said before their UFC 178 fight that he had ‘never disliked an opponent more’ than McGregor, and that rage left him susceptible to McGregor’s shots that stopped him within the first few seconds.
But the pair were much more friendly ahead of their UFC 257 rematch in January, in which Poirier got his revenge with a brutal second round KO, the first loss of it’s kind on the Irishman’s record.
It is unknown what sort of McGregor fans can expect when he arrives in Vegas, but the American has insisted he is single-minded now, and won’t let the mind games effect him.