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Dustin Poirier: “I just care so much, man, I let myself down.”

It’s often easy to forget fighters are people too. Perhaps it’s because Mixed Martial Artists are inherently tough or because cameras tend to focus on the winners’ reactions, but the reality is every single man and woman who takes to the ring is not so different from the folks sitting in the seats outside of their chosen profession. And, like the rest of us, when it comes to having a dream crushed it hurts far more than cuts, bruises, or even broken bones.

In that vein, the pain on Dustin Poirier’s face during a post-fight interview on Fuel TV was not related to the damage he sustained in last night’s exciting main event match-up with Chan Sung Jung but rather the utter despair of coming up short in such an important outing.

“He was just as tough as I expected. I expected a good fight and…I’m just upset with myself,” said an emotional Poirier of his performance. “When it got to those later rounds he hit me with some good shots in the fourth round. I was never completely out of it but whenever came back to realizing what was going on…I was in the D’Arce position. I felt it but I just didn’t defend it right. I’m upset about that.”

“I’m trying not to get emotional,” continued the 23-year old, pausing to take a deep breath and collect himself. “I just care so much, man, I let myself down. I deserved to win. My wife deserved for us to win.”

Fighting back tears as bravely as any adversary he’d faced in the cage, Poirier summed things up on a positive note, concluding, “I made some mistakes but I’m gonna go back to the gym, work on it, and come back and get a ‘W’,” before heading off to handle the agony of defeat in a private setting rather than in front of the world.

Check out the heart-wrenching video below (and grab a Kleenex just to be safe):