Most of the talk in the aftermath of UFC 257 has been about Conor McGregor, and where the Irish former two-weight champ goes from here. But it’s time to put some respect on Dustin Poirier’s name. “The Diamond” became the first man to knock out former two division champ McGregor, avenging his 2014 loss as a featherweight to the Irishman, since when he has been grinding his way to the top of the sport at 155 pounds. Still, the 32-year-old American had to play the heel on Sunday in Abu Dhabi, walking out to boos from many of the 2,000 fans inside Etihad Arena, who had come expecting to see McGregor return to the Octagon after a year out with a repeat performance. “Like Conor said, I’ve got a lot of experience in this game, and like I’ve said, I just don’t care any more what anybody thinks, so it’s whatever,” Poirier said at the post-event press conference. “I fought one time last year and there were no fans, so it’s been a while since I got booed. I walked out to boos, I walked back to the locker room with cheers, I heard that. That’s exactly what a lot of these MMA fans are, fair-weather. So that’s why I don’t hold that stuff close to me, it doesn’t mean anything.” UFC 257: McGregor blasts Khabib for ‘disrespectful comments’ Poirier’s stunning second-round TKO made a mockery of his +210 closing odds before the fight. Bookies have even already put him as a +120 underdog for a future trilogy rubber match against “The Notorious”, who is a -140 favourite despite being outclassed in Abu Dhabi. He also shut up all the haters and doubters, who had pegged him simply as an afterthought in The Conor McGregor Show. But none of it will matter a jot to the Lafayette, Louisiana native, who walked out to James Brown singing “paid the cost to be the boss” on Fight Island, an anthem that has come to exemplify his unsurpassed work ethic, and his winding journey to the top of mixed martial arts. “I was thinking about coming out to The Big Payback , but this isn’t payback – this isn’t about that, that’s not what this training camp was to me,” Poirier said. “This was about progress, prosperity, putting my family in the position we’re in now. It was a lot of things, but it wasn’t payback. That’s great, now the fight is over I’m glad I got him back. It was a great storyline and it feels good, but that wasn’t the driving force of this.” Despite playing the pantomime villain with his victory over iconic fan favourite McGregor, it’s simply impossible to dislike Poirier at this point. Humble in victory and defeat, the former interim lightweight champ again endeared himself to MMA fans for his charity work with his Good Fight Foundation, which received plenty of attention last week when McGregor made a US$500,000 donation. “I can help so many other young children, boys and girls, just troubled youth with my foundation, they can fight their way out too, I did it,” he said. “I’m just like them, I’m nothing special. If I can do it, anyone can do it. I feel like if you introduce troubled kids to martial arts and goals, and just be a positive person around them, it can change their life. It’s changed my life, and I just want to share that with people. View this post on Instagram A post shared by ESPN MMA (@espnmma) “Of course I’m fighting for me and my family first and foremost, I gotta take care of me and mine. But I’m going in there and fighting for my life regardless … as many people as can benefit from me getting in there, I wanna stack the weight on my back and carry it in there with me. I wanna give people a reason to cheer and smile, that means a lot to me.” And so there just remains one goal for Poirier – becoming undisputed champion. Khabib Nurmagomedov, who submitted Poirier by third-round choke in October 2019 to retain his title, reiterated he plans to stay retired after watching McGregor’s loss on Sunday. “I feel like I’ve done it all, but I can’t walk away and say I’m the champ,” Poirier said. “When you’re the champ, you’re the champ forever. I wanna be the champ. But I’ve seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in this sport. “Finishing a guy who’s never been finished like that, it’s up there,” he added. “Touching that UFC interim belt was so important to me, and putting my hands on the undisputed world title before this is all said and done is what I wanna absolutely do, man, but this is a big one.” So let‘s give Poirier his dues – he’s The Boss now. He gets to call the shots and that means a title shot or nothing.