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Dustin Poirier has suggested that his mixed martial arts career may have come to an end after his third-round submission defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday night.

The American fighter, who earned his championship shot following a string of impressive performances against the likes of Justin Gaethje, Eddie Alvarez and Max Holloway, showed promise at various points during his highly-anticipated bout with the undefeated Russian. He scored with several straight shots on the feet and forced Nurmagomedov back on his heels, while also sinking everything he had into a Hail Mary guillotine choke attempt late in the third but once Nurmagomedov managed to work himself into position to remove his neck from danger, it seemed the end was near — and it was.

Nurmagomedov sunk a choke, coerced a tap from the challenger and it was all over.

Poirier cut a forlorn figure in the cage, apologising to those who were disappointed by his defeat and followed that up with a post to Instagram Story on Sunday in which he appeared to be questioning his fighting future.

“Thank you guys for the support,” Poirier said. “It means a lot to me. If I choose to fight again, I’ll be back strong. If not, I’ll see what God has in store for me. Thank you.”