Adversity teaches a man a lot about himself.
Win or lose or draw, you always go back and critique your performance and say you could have done things better. Even if I put the guy away in one round, I can go back and say I made a lot of mistakes and need to tighten up. But that's the type of person I am. Improve. Improve. Improve. When I lose I come back stronger than ever.
I've been the underdog my whole life.
Everybody has their own path. Everybody peaks at different times.
I feel like I've always been a great fighter but I'm learning the patience part of it and not getting overwhelmed with emotion and adrenaline and going out there and brawling like a maniac.
I'm not fighting just to fight. I'm fighting to be the world champ.
I'm chasing gold. And whatever fight can get me closer to being a world champion, those are the fights that I want.
I try to work on the small things.
It's MMA. Anything can happen. Nothing's for sure.
I'm not a quitter, man. Just look at my history.
I probably should have been fighting at 155 for a long time, but I was so close to the top at 145.
Cutting to featherweight took months of intense weight cutting and training. Going to lightweight, I can fight more often.
You can't just be only going to the gym when you sign a fight contract or you'll just be the same fighter every time, just more experienced.
I don't talk bad about people who I roll with.
Yeah I do think featherweight is done for me. It sucks because I worked hard and fought a lot of hard fights and did a lot of things right to move up the rankings and I have to abandon all that moving to 155 starting fresh.
No matter where I came from, I'm a fighter.
I think a lot of fighters are cutting way too much weight.
I'm proud of everything I accomplished in this sport.
There's always the pressure to win. That never goes away, but being a main event, I want to go out there and put on a great show for the fans and live up to being a main event. That doesn't really stress me out or pressure me anymore. The fight is enough.
Fighting comes down to who you are as a person. With B.J. Penn, he has no problems, not a hard upbringing and came up with money or whatever and he's just a fighter, he enjoys the fight and he refined his skills so I don't think it necessarily has to be a rough upbringing for guys to be great fighters.
My goal and path is always to get to the mountaintop and be a world champion, and leave a fighting legacy.
Fighting, you have to be selfish.
Grit, determination, the right amount of crazy, self belief - everything it takes to be a champion. I have that.
I knew I had the ability to become a world champion, I knew I did. I knew I just needed the opportunity.
I come from south Louisiana where everyone has a blue-collar work ethic.
People I grew up with, my family, work in the oil fields. Everyone works a labor job - construction, concrete. All we know is work. It's a physical culture.
I feel like everybody's who fighting, young fighters and still learning and growing, that should be their goal - to be the UFC world champion.
It's not hard to look great against a guy who isn't moving a lot.
Every fight is like a different landscape of what you go through. But sometimes it's small injuries. Sometimes it's lessons you walk away with. Every fight is different but they all hurt, for sure.
Winning solves everything.
I'm a complete fighter and I'm not scared, I'm very willing to use every part of the game to get the win by any means necessary.
If a champ has to take a long layoff then I think that's the only time interim titles should be introduced to the division.
Now I'm with the American Top Team, I'm a better fighter, I'm a more patient fighter, I've improved in every aspect.
This sport is a crazy thing, and what happens, it's unpredictable.
Those deep, dog fights - I love that. That's why I fight.
The cut made me hate the process of getting ready for a fight. I was focused on how to make weight instead of how to beat my opponent.
I'm not the same fighter I used to be.
I'm not really chasing rematches.
I want to fight the fights that fans want to see.
I want to fight for the real belt, not the interim title.
The way I feel, I'm the best in the world.
I'm the kind of guy that grows, and that's what I do everyday in the gym. Work on new stuff and stay relevant.
I think I fought my first fight in Zuffa in 2010.
I've said it before, I'm not a matchmaker, I don't call the shots. I just prepare and fight the guys after I sign the contract.
Of course every fighter, whether they admit it or not, they have aches and pains and they go into fights hurt.
I'm not a matchmaker, I don't know the logic behind the decisions they make.
If you're training for a fight, you're going to be pretty much, there's going to be days where you're hurting.
Normal pain is no problem, that just comes with the job.
I've just been in a lot of big fights, and I've been in some good spots and some bad spots.
When I'm in south Florida I'm training, resting, training. I'm working on my craft out here, very tediously. That's what I come out here for.
Fighting is what I do.
Any time Nate Diaz fights, I'm tuning in, I promise you.
All weight cuts are hard.
I'm not a small guy.
My whole career, the ups, the downs, the victories, the defeats, the lessons I've learned and kept rolling, that's what's made me the fighter I am today.
I want to fight guys I'm excited to watch fight.
My dream is to be the best fighter at 155 pounds in the world.
That grit of fighting is addictive, I'm scared of it. It's a very weird thing.
My father was a fighter. My grandfather was a fighter. It's just in my blood.
Seven years is a long time, and seven years of fighting the best guys in the best organization in the world, the biggest organization in the world, it hardens you. You don't stay seven years without evolving. It doesn't happen.
If I would have thought like fans think, I'd be broke and brain dead and fighting everybody every weekend.
Norman Parke needs to stay off of Twitter before he gets himself in a fight he can't win.
They had to re-shape the head of my femur back round. They had to trim my hip socket up a little bit. I had a lot of extra bone growth just from years of stressing it out. Because of that bone growth, it caused an impingement in my hip, which tore my labrum off the bone.
Just because I haven't fought wrestlers doesn't mean I'm not wrestling in every camp.
Destiny doesn't make mistakes.
I just want fights like that. Fights that get me excited. Fights that are going to be exciting.
The champs are the guys who can do it the best, to lock it in for 25 minutes and do what they plan to do.
I'm familiar with adversity.
I'm not a frontrunner. I'm a complete fighter.
I have a pretty high fight IQ.
I have mouths to feed and I want big fights!
This isn't a Toughman competition; you don't just fight everybody because they want to fight.
If you move in and out, throw shots and use angles and the guy's feet are planted, you look a lot better.
This is a business. I'm a professional athlete. This isn't, 'poke somebody and start a street fight.'
I need to celebrate life because I'm in a good spot, I work hard, and I am happy with who I am and happy with what I do for a living, and sometimes I just focus and overwhelm myself so much with the fights and getting better, that I just need to slow it down and enjoy life and enjoy training.
My goal is to prosper and be a world champion and make money and retire and say I did it.
You have to be tough. All these guys are tough. But at some point, you have to outsmart and outhink and outplan these top fighters.
I was a born fighter before I got technical, and that's still in me.
You can't just go in and say, 'I'm going to be tougher that you,' you know? Heavy bags are tough, but I've never been beat by one.
Korean Zombie beat me, and I was prepared that night. He beat me, he beat me that night.
I want a rematch with Cub Swanson, I think I deserve to be 100 percent and fight.
I really work hard to stay in great shape and make weight.
I want the title. But these hands are working hands, and sometimes you've got to get them dirty.
Nothing in my life was ever easy.
Years and years ago, like in 2006, my wife, I didn't have a car, she would drive me to weigh-ins, we would sleep in broken-down motels and I would fight the next day. Just me and her.
I'm never going to go down to 145 again.
I don't see myself ever going up to 170.
I feel like my wrestling and jiu-jitsu is so underrated.
The side of town, the side of Louisiana that I grew up on, there's a lot of poverty.
When your body quits on you, it doesn't matter how mentally tough you are.
I've always fought the best guys.
I don't want to have an asterisk next to my accomplishments for the rest of my life. I don't want everybody to say, 'interim champ' every time someone says Dustin was the champion.
I want to entertain the fans and put on great fights and have 'Fight of the Nights' and have exiting matchups, but at the same time I want to be the undisputed world champion.
I feel like I can submit Khabib, but feel like I'm going to stop him. I don't know how it's going to happen, but I'm either going to knock him out or I'm going to submit him. I'm going to finish Khabib Nurmagomedov.
I've never pulled out of a fight. I've never missed weight.
Every fight, every camp I learn about myself and I get better. But every fight I get better.
I've put it all on the line every time, win, lose, or draw, and that's what I want to be left behind in my legacy.
Of course, every time I get beat out there, I want to avenge those losses. I'm sure every fighter does.
I never took the easy route.