Two weeks ago Dustin Poirier scored his most impressive victory to date; a second round TKO win over former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion Conor McGregor. The win, which happened on the so-called ‘Fight Island’, has launched ‘Diamond’ into prime position to challenge for the UFC’s 155 lb strap.
However, Poirier might not be looking to challenge for that belt right now. Instead, he wants to book a fight that—by his own admission—makes very little sense.
When he caught up with ESPN recently the 32-year-old spoke at length about the McGregor fight and his future plans. When the discussion centred on who he could fight next, Poirier had a surprising answer: Nate Diaz.
“It is exciting, it is fun,” said Poirier of a potential Diaz match-up (ht Cole Shelton, bjpenn.com). “Those are the kind of fights I want to be part of. Fights that are exciting to me and that I’m motivated to get up and bust my ass every day. That is exciting. That is a guy I grew up watching, a guy who is still a very big name, that’s it.”
Poirier said he wanted a Diaz fight despite the bout being unlikely to further his chances at fighting for a title.
“I think the fans would be in for a great fight if that one happens. Does it make sense in the lightweight division? No. Does it make sense where I am at, standing in the door front of a title shot? No. But, it is a fun fight and this is entertainment and this is fighting.”
After being one of the UFC’s more active fighters throughout the late 2000s, Diaz’s appearances inside the Octagon have become few and far between. In 2016 Diaz had his famed two-fight series with Conor McGregor. After submitting McGregor in the first contest and losing a split decision in the second, Diaz took a three year break from competition.
He returned at UFC 241 in 2019 to beat Anthony Pettis by unanimous decision. A few months later he lost to Jorge Masvidal for the novelty BMF belt. Diaz lost that fight due to a cut. That was the last time Diaz was seen inside the Octagon.
Since 2017 Poirier has fought five current or former UFC champions. In 2017 he submitted Pettis. The following year he TKO’d both Justin Gaethje and Eddie Alvarez. In 2019 he defeated Max Holloway for the interim UFC lightweight championship and then lost an undisputed UFC lightweight title contest to Khabib Nurmagomedov. Last year he beat Dan Hooker to set-up his most recent win over McGregor.
Poirier’s run of form, and his most recent outing, have him placed firmly in the UFC’s title picture with many believing he will be next, against either Michael Chandler or Charles Oliveira, to compete for gold in the division.
About the author