Mark Henry, one of the most respected coaches in MMA, has spoken about the friction between himself and Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight contender Dustin Poirier and what transpired after the fight at UFC Calgary last month between Poirier and his fighter Eddie Alvarez.
After Poirier had beaten Alvarez in their rematch fight, Henry said he went up to Poirier to shake his hand and congratulate him but Poirier wanted nothing to do with him.
“I walked up to Dustin to congratulate him,” Henry told MMAFighting.com. “He says, Get the [blank] away from me. Which I did. I’m like, you know what? It’s his moment. I want him to have his moment. He deserves it.”
Poirier told reporters later that the hostility towards Henry was a result of the first encounter with Alvarez at UFC 211 where the fight ended in a ‘no contest’ due to Alvarez kneeing a downed opponent. Alvarez had stated publically that he thought Poirier quit and Poirier assumed his team all agreed with him.
According to Henry, that wasn’t the case, and he claims that in interviews before the rematch fight, he even praised Poirier. The pair had worked together previously when “The Diamond” assisted former champion Frankie Edgar in a fight.
“The few [interviews] that I did, I talked very, very highly about Dustin,” Henry said. “I said how he loved he was. We’ve had hundreds of guys come to our place to help with sparring and Dustin was the most loved.”
Henry said Poirier sought out their team backstage after the fight to apologize.
“He was great, man,” Henry said. “I don’t even know if he went to the doctor first. He ran to find us first. Before he even went to the doctor, he found us, he apologized to our whole team. That’s just a good dude. It was the heat of the moment. I just wish he would have known the things I was saying about him beforehand.”
“He’s such an honorable dude, man,” Henry said. “It was at the moment, he’s all jacked up.” Poirier will now face Nate Diaz at UFC 230 on Nov. 3 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.