Dustin Poirier praises UFC champ Charles Oliveira

Dustin Poirier can relate to newly crowned UFC champion Charles Oliveira.

Dustin Poirier praises UFC champ Charles Oliveira

Having competed at both featherweight and lightweight himself, Poirier (28-6 MMA, 20-5 UFC) sees a lot of similarities between his path and Oliveira’s (31-8 MMA, 19-8 UFC) and has nothing but respect for the champion as he gears up to challenge him for the title.

“He’s not just a guy in the division that happens to have the belt,” Poirier told MMA Junkie and other reporters at the UFC 264 post-fight news conference. “He’s a guy who’s picked himself up off the canvas time and time again, fought through adversity through two weight classes (and) been in the UFC a decade. He’s not just a guy with the belt. He’s earned every ounce of gold he has around his waist, and I have nothing but respect for guys like that.

“I don’t know him personally, but his work history – I can’t hate on anything he’s done. It’s incredible. That’s tougher to do than to go undefeated. You never learn things about yourself. You learn things about yourself in those losses and climbing back to the top and getting motivated again. That’s when you find out you’re a real fighter. I’m not saying these undefeated guys aren’t, but I have respect for somebody who’s climbed back up and won a world championship.”

Poirier cemented his No. 1 contender spot when he defeated Conor McGregor for the second straight time at UFC 264 on Saturday. Though the title shot is undoubtedly next, Poirier wants to take some time off before jumping into another training camp.

Dustin Poirier praises UFC champ Charles Oliveira

“I need to go home and decompress,” Poirier said. “I don’t know the schedule for the UFC, what they’re planning on doing at the end of the year. I know someone told me earlier that Charles wanted to fight me in December, so we’ll see. We’ll figure everything out. I just want to get home to my family.”

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