Strap in, folks. I've got a journey to take you on, brought to you by "The Diamond" himself, Dustin Poirier.
We'll start with the fight announcement you see above - on January 10th, the UFC announced Dustin Poirier vs Benoit Saint Denis for UFC 299 in March. This is an AMAZING fight at Lightweight, and one many (including me) are almost surprised Poirier agreed to after what he's said about being super selective in opponents at this point in his career - but alas, MMA fans everywhere rejoiced.
Saint Denis is one of the most exciting prospects in the sport - an ex-paratrooper for the French Special Forces on a five-fight finish streak - and to see him get a shot against a legend like Poirier (who is still fighting at a very high level himself) rules.
Plus Joe Rogan thinks he's killed a guy with rocks....
Today, Dustin Poirier stuns everyone with the tweet below, which reads, "My fights off but still working (fist emoji)"....
From that tweet, I think a lot of us assumed Benoit must've pulled out with an injury or something, so we check up on his socials - and he seems fine!
He's in the gym, talking about counting down the days to UFC 299….so what the hell was going on?! How did this fall apart?! Did Dustin get offered a bigger fight? Is there another play?! I quickly saw some speculation that Poirier was pulled from the fight to main event UFC 300 with Conor McGregor for a brief period….
(I know I'm a McGregor nuthugger but I swear I didn't make our social guy Lee tweet that. That was all Lee. Shoutout Lee.)
….and I thought that was ridiculous but almost convinced myself there was a 1% possibility of it - but eventually Poirier gave comment to Brett Okamoto, stating, "There was no contractual agreement before the fight was announced and we couldn't come to terms."
Reporter Guilherme Cruz took this and added, "Vicente Luque vs. Sean Brady, and now Dustin Poirier vs. Benoit Saint Denis. Two days in a row where fights announced by Dana White are now off because… well, they were never really a done deal."….
….and then shared a clip where Benoit Saint Denis' coach says nobody on their team even knew about the fight before the UFC made the announcement, and that BSD's wife had to wake him up to inform him he would be fighting Poirier….
At this point, many on MMA Twitter went into full "Fuck the UFC!" mode for allegedly pressuring fighters into signing on the dotted line by announcing matchups that were never agreed upon - but that lasted all of five minutes, when Dana White showed up with some VERY interesting receipts….
….and then went at Cruz….
when she says i'll send a pic just don't show anyone
So Benoit Saint Denis had no idea he was fighting Poirier until the announcement made by the UFC according to his coach, huh? Had to be woken up with a a bucket of cold water and told "The Diamond" was next? Interesting. Seems to me like he knew on January 7th and didn't tell his coaches because Dana White said he didn't want it leaking. Maybe it's for the best he didn't tell his coaches, too - seeing how quick they were to do media and say shit like this! I can't tell if BSD's coach is exaggerating the truth or just flat out lying in that interview (I only speak English) but it's a bad look regardless.
Then - ready for this? Just a few hours after all of this goes down, Dustin Poirier posts that this was all a big misunderstanding - and that the fight is back on….
"Sorry folks, I jumped the gun, I couldn't get a hold of my manager for a few days. I just spoke with him and Hunter. Misunderstanding on my part. Fight is on! See you March 9th Miami!!!"
BRO WHAT?!?! I need to know how this all went down. Are we to believe that Poirier's manager agreed to terms on the fight, never told Dustin, and then went off the grid for a few days? Went on a hunting trip or something? Did one of those Jared Leto silent retreats from the beginning of COVID? Something like that? Is that what they're selling us?!
I don't know what the hell happened there, and we may never find out what the full story is, but the important thing is that the fight is BACK ON.
Dustin Poirier vs Benoit Saint Denis. Five rounds. UFC 299. All out violence.
We'll discuss this, and much more on the Spinnin Backfist MMA Show tomorrow afternoon, LIVE on Rumble and all other platforms. Tune in!