Daniel Cormier: ‘I don’t love’ Dustin Poirier talking retirement before UFC 302 title fight vs. Islam Makhachev

Daniel Cormier believes Dustin Poirier may be making a mistake by talking about potentially retiring after his upcoming title fight vs. Islam Makhachev at UFC 302. In fact, Cormier “hates” it.

The UFC Hall of Famer believes opening the door for retirement talk distracts from the task at hand, which could prevent Poirier from being the best version of himself inside the octagon on June 1 in Newark, N.J. It’s a stance Cormier believes strongly in because he did it himself.

“I can’t stand hearing that it’s almost over for a guy that we all universally love and enjoy when he’s inside the octagon,” Cormier said in a video on his YouTube channel. “I also hate it for another reason: I hate it for the idea that it could be almost over, and he recognizes that. I don’t like when athletes because I did it myself, I’m almost judging myself; I don’t love when athletes put a timeline or a finishing point on a career that’s still actively going on. That is a hard thing to do.”

Poirier hasn’t just talked retirement ahead of UFC 302. He also believes he will finish Makhachev. “I’m going to knock him unconscious and the ref is going to be pulling me off of him,” Poirier said in a recent interview.

Ultimately, Cormier sees Poirier engaging in a “grass is greener” situation when talking retiement, which may or may not be true for a particular athlete.

While it was greener for Cormier, as he has thoroughly enjoyed his post-fight career, he believes pondering retirement before a fight was ultimately a distraction – one that could prevent former interim lightweight champ Poirier from finally reaching his goal of becoming an undisputed UFC titleholder in his third chance.

“I started looking to a time where I didn’t have to worry about cutting the weight and doing all this other stuff,” Cormier said. “That’s miserable. Life afterwards is vacations, beaches, eating what you want and doing what you want.

“I don’t love that there’s so many references to, ‘My last chance or my last dance. I’m not committing to retirement.’ It’s like, if you have any desire to fight, you have to be so in the fight that there is no thought of what comes next. I don’t love that. I just don’t love that.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie