Dustin Poirier says Benoit Saint-Denis fight makes him nervous: 'I want to toss myself in the fire'


Dustin Poirier sees Benoit Saint-Denis as exactly the type of test to keep him motivated.

Poirier (29-8 MMA, 21-7 UFC) faces furious finisher Saint-Denis (13-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) in a five-round co-main event at UFC 299 on March 9 from Kaseya Center in Miami.

Many were surprised that former interim champion Poirier accepted to fight someone far less ranked than him, but “The Diamond” says the risk is what gets him excited.

“(I’m fighting him) to test myself really – to see if I’ve still got it,” Poirier told TMZ Sports. “This guy is young, hungry, on a streak, finished his last five opponents – that makes me nervous, so I want to toss myself in the fire.

“That’s where I feel like I do my best work, and those are the kinds of fighters I want to fight – guys who are leaving it all out there, showing grit … they fight for finishes. That’s the kind of fight I want to be involved in.”

Poirier, one of the longest-tenured fighters on the roster, isn’t looking ahead after Saint-Denis. He is taking things fight by fight at this point of his career.

“Every fight could be it – every fight,” Poirier said. “Where I’m at, 35 years old, this is my 30th fight in the UFC – every fight could be it.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 299.

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