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Dustin Poirier downplays Benoit Saint Denis’ UFC 299 staph infection: ‘You gotta hush it up’

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Dustin Poirier vs. Benoit Saint Denis was the firefight everyone expected.

Early on, it was the French prospect in the driver’s seat. He was able to back Poirier to the fence, land hard combinations of knees and elbows, then transition into takedowns against the cage. Poirier was firing back, but for most of five minutes, he was rendered defensive under the Saint Denis onslaught.

Even early in the second, Saint Denis was in top position and advanced into back mount. Just as the fight appeared to be slipping away from him, Poirier escaped out the back door and promptly flattened a fatigued Saint Denis with a nasty counter right hook (watch here).

After the loss, it didn’t take long for Saint Denis to blame the loss on a staph infection. He claimed the infection wrecked his weight cut and caused him to tire badly early in the fight. Now, there were rumors of staph prior to the fight, but the French fighter denied them … until after he lost.

According to “The Diamond,” Saint Denis handled the situation poorly. Poirier explained to MMA Junkie that it’s only appropriate to bring up camp problems after a win, because every fighter enters the cage with issues stemming from their preparation.

Poirier explained, “You say those type of things — I had an infection, I was battling something — when you win, you don’t say that when you lose. I’ve gone into so many fights with staph infection, with fractured foot, with lacerated bicep. Staph infection in my ear! All kinds of stuff, that’s fighting. We’re on the mats everyday. Everybody has something going on going into fights but you can’t say that when you lose. You gotta hush it up.”

Following the win, Poirier is suddenly in contention for a Lightweight title shot. Justin Gaethje may have knocked out Poirier last year with a head kick, but he’s booked to fight Max Holloway at UFC 300. That doesn’t line up with champion Islam Makhachev’s timeline, so there may be an opening to fight for the belt that only “The Diamond” can fulfill.

… as long as everyone is staph free.

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