For Dustin Poirier, choosing not to fight Arman Tsarukyan could save him from an awkward situation that could also affect the American Top Team gym.

Poirier is now set to face Benoît Saint-Denis at UFC 299, while Tsarukyan will fight Charles Oliveira in a No. 1 contender fight at UFC 300. However, prior to these bookings, Tsarukyan called out the fellow fighter but received no response from Poirier. Prior to that, the Armenian-Russian lambasted Justin Gaethje, Michael Chandler, and Poirier, who only wanted to “fight each other and no one else,” especially those in the lower rank. However, for “The Diamond,” there’s a reason behind his decision.

Poirier and Tsarukyan are both training at American Top Team, and fighting someone who shares the same gym as him is something the former interim lightweight would not approve. For Poirier, he doesn’t want the same situation Tyron Woodley and Robbie Lawler had to face after their fight at UFC 201. To recall, both fighters are ATT teammates, but fighting for the welterweight title in the said event apparently made some changes in the place’s aura. Poirier doesn’t want to repeat that.

“I would rather not fight guys from the gym just because I remember when Woodley and Robbie fought, and it’s how it separated, you know, a big fight and how it separated the gym, and it’s just bad vibes,” Poirier said on The MMA Hour. “I want to go into training not blocking off the cage for my session so that certain coaches don’t see and separating my times when I’m going to train and it’s just bad. It’s just a bad vibe in the gym.”

Fortunately for Poirier, the UFC decided to put him and Tsarukyan in two different matches. This, however, doesn’t mean that their path will no longer meet. With “Ahalkalakets” aiming to get the title and Poirier still trying to make it to the top, a fight between the two is inevitable in the future.

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