Justin Gaethje claims Dustin Poirier rejected offer to coach The Ultimate Fighter 31: ‘I don’t blame him’

Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje expected to retire after UFC 291 BMF title fight

Former interim UFC lightweight champion, Justin Gaethje has claimed fellow former interim gold holder, Dustin Poirier, rejected the opportunity to serve as an opposing coach against him on The Ultimate Fighter 31 earlier this year, backing the Lafayette native to turn down a scoffed-at payday.

Gaethje, the current #3 ranked lightweight contender, most recently co-headlined UFC 286 back in March of this year in a high-stakes clash against Rafael Fiziev, securing a close, majority decision triumph over the Tiger Muay Thai ace.

As for Poirier, the #2 ranked challenger most recently featured on the main card of UFC 281 back in November of last year at Madison Square Garden, submitting common-foe, Michael Chandler with a third round rear-naked choke submission win.

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Meeting Gaethje in the main event of UFC Fight Night Glendale back in April 2018, Poirier managed to secure an eventual fourth round standing TKO victory over the former, en route to an interim title win against Max Holloway.

Justin Gaethje welcomes Dustin Poirier rematch this year

Linked with a potential summer rematch with Poirier off the back of his victory against Fiziev in London last month, Gaethje – who also voiced his interest in a title fight against Dominance MMA stablemate, Islam Makhachev, claimed Poirier had rejected an offer to coach TUF 31 against him.

“Before I signed the [Rafael] Fiziev fight, they [the UFC] asked if I wanted to do The Ultimate Fighter with [Dustin] Poirier and he said no,” Justin Gaethje told Daniel Cormier during a recent interview. “I don’t blame him. I wouldn’t do it if I was him, when you got that much money. You’re gonna pay me $80,000 to go f*cking six weeks away from my family? No thanks.” 

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Winning his interim lightweight title back in May 2020 against another former interim gold holder, Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje stopped the Oxnard native with a fifth round standing TKO in Jacksonville, Florida.