Mike Brown Shares Unseen Moments with Dustin Poirier at UFC 299 After Guillotine Comment

Dustin Poirier, despite his coaches’ advice, continues to use the guillotine choke in his fights, a move he’s known for but has yet to successfully use to finish a fight, with his next opportunity coming at UFC 302 against reigning lightweight champion Islam Makhachev.

Dustin Poirier lives by a mantra. It’s a simple one: “You miss 100 percent of the guillotines you don’t jump.”

This philosophy became infamous at UFC 299. Poirier was up against Benoit Saint Denis, and he kept trying guillotine chokes. His coaches weren’t thrilled. They kept telling him, “No more guillotines,” but Poirier wasn’t having it. He’s got a mean guillotine choke, and he’s not afraid to use it. Even if it often lands him in a sticky situation when his opponent slips free.

There’s more to the story, though. The cameras at UFC 299 missed a key interaction between Poirier and his head coach, Mike Brown. Brown had told Poirier to stop going for the same submission. But the cameras didn’t catch it.

Brown recalls, “They actually didn’t play it in between the rounds, after the first round I said, ‘No more guillotines,’ and then they switched to the other corner.” But Poirier wasn’t convinced. He told Brown, “No, but I can hit it! I can hit it!” Brown’s response? “You crazy bastard.”

Poirier did it again. He jumped another guillotine. The cameras didn’t catch that part, but Brown insists there was more said after he told Poirier not to jump the guillotine.

In the end, Poirier beat Saint Denis by knockout. He’s adamant, though, that a failed guillotine attempt won’t stop him from trying again.

Brown knows Poirier’s guillotine is effective. He’s seen it in action in the gym hundreds of times. “He puts a lot of guys to sleep in the gym, to be honest,” Brown says. “He does have a very good one. He just hasn’t hit them in the fight.”

Brown’s instructions to Poirier to stop going for guillotine chokes got a lot of attention during the Saint Denis fight. But there was another fight where Poirier’s love for the submission got an even bigger reaction from Brown. It was a couple of years ago, against Dan Hooker.

Brown remembers, “The fight where I was losing my mind is the fight with Hooker. He had lost the first two rounds and then he was battling back and then he was jumping guillotine in those later rounds. If he got stuck on bottom in any one of those rounds, he would have lost the third round and wouldn’t have won the decision.”

But Poirier wouldn’t hit the guillotine. He would scramble to get back to his feet, start dropping bombs, doing damage, and somehow stealing the round. “He made us sweat and bite our nails in that one, that’s for sure,” Brown admits.

Poirier’s next chance to land a guillotine choke comes at UFC 302 on June 1. He’s up against reigning lightweight champion Islam Makhachev in the main event.

In 2019, Poirier famously went for his guillotine choke against then-champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242. For a moment, it looked like he might hand the undefeated Russian his first loss. But it wasn’t to be. Nurmagomedov escaped and used his top position to punish Poirier before securing a rear-naked choke submission to finish the fight.

Now, five years later, Poirier is up against Nurmagomedov’s protege, Makhachev. Brown thinks it would be poetic if a guillotine wins Poirier the UFC lightweight title.

“It absolutely could happen,” Brown says. “He’s done so much in the sport. I almost feel like he doesn’t have anything more to prove, but this is the one box he has to check. I feel like he’s a champion even though he hasn’t won a title, a true UFC title. He’s won the interim. I feel like he’s a champion in my eyes.”


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