Will Dustin Poirier be at UFC 300?
Dustin Poirier remains one of the most popular figures in the UFC. He’s S-Tier in the ‘probably a nice guy’ rankings as evidenced by his charitable endeavours and lack of activities that would land him in my Crime Desk column. His popularity is also due to his All Violence Team performances in the cage, which have earned him a reputation for being must-see TV.
This week Poirier got our tongues wagging by suggesting a fight booking is afoot. He did so with a post on X (or whatever we are calling it).
“Working on something,” wrote The Diamond. This was accompanied by a gif from the movie 300. This must be a nod to UFC 300, an event which is expected to take place next year. Just like with UFC 100 and 200, it’s expected that the promotion will go all out to make a fight card worthy of tuning into and being remembered.
When it comes to their available talent, Dustin Poirier is a no-brainer for inclusion on such a card.
But who is he going to fight?
Here’s five opponents that I think would make sense (for various reasons).
Five opponents that make sense for Poirier at UFC 300
Before we dive into his potential match-ups, here’s Dustin Poirier’s stats for comparison’s sake.
Division: Lightweight (3rd)
Record: 29-8 (1 NC)
Last three fights: Justin Gaetjhe (L, KO), Michael Chandler (W, submission), Charles Oliveira (L, submission).
Now, onto the potential dance partners.
1. Conor McGregor
Division: Lightweight/Welterweight (not ranked)
Last three fights: Dustin Poirier (L, injury/TKO), Dustin Poirier (L, TKO), Donald Cerrone (W, TKO).
Yes, yes, we’ve seen this one before (three times, actually). But there are still plenty of reasons to see it again.
Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier first met in the featherweight division back in 2014. McGregor, who was on his astronomic rise to the top of the game at the time, won the bout with a clubbing punch that landed on Poirier’s ear, making his equilibrium go haywire. The pair rematched in 2021 and Poirier enacted revenge on Notorious, with a cold TKO in the second round that left the Irishman snoring against the fence.
Their third fight happened a few months later and ended because McGregor landed a kick on the point of Poirier’s elbow. When McGregor tried to stand, his broken shin gave way, leading to a floppy leg catastrophe that we’ve seen far too many times in MMA (once is too much!).
As he sat injured in the cage, feeling afraid, embarrassed and defenceless, McGregor made disgusting threats against Poirier and his family – things he would later repeat online.
Poirier has maintained that McGregor’s behaviour after that fight is more than enough reason for them to fight again. Given their career trajectories, it feels obvious that Poirier would blow through Notorious again. However, there will be plenty of people who want to tune in to see McGregor’s body cash the cheque his mouth wrote.
If UFC 300 is supposed to be one of the biggest events in MMA history, Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor 4 is exactly what it needs. Sorry Michael Chandler, maybe you can have next (maybe).
2. Mateusz Gamrot
Division: Lightweight (6th)
Record: 26-2 (1 NC)
Last three fights: Rafael Fiziev (W, injury/TKO), Jalin Turner (W, split decision), Beneil Dariush (L, unanimous decision).
And now for something completely different. Mateusz Gamrot has next to zero cache among mainstream MMA fans. However, him fighting Dustin Poirier makes sense for the most boring of reasons.
When you look at fighters and match-making like the UFC does, with athletes transformed into checker pieces who must jump over each other before they reach the top of the board and then become kings, this fight makes a lot of sense.
Gamrot is ranked 6 in the UFC lightweight rankings currently. Poirier is 3rd. Anyone else ranked around them is either booked, injured or someone Poirier has fought before.
For this reason, Dustin Poirier vs. Mateusz Gamrot is the right play ― if you only care about every fighter being on a sensible track to a title shot.
For Poirier, a win over Gamrot solidifies his place in the top 5 and sets him up to rematch one of the elite talents he’s fought before. A win there would give him plenty of credentials for a title shot against whoever has the belt (likely Islam Makhachev).
Christmas would come early for Gamrot if this is the plan. However, it’s not exactly the mouth-watering match-up that could sell UFC 300 on its own. If UFC 300 is stacked with other hot fights, though, Poirier versus anybody would be a welcome inclusion.
3. Benoit Saint-Denis
Division: Lightweight (11th)
Last three fights: Matt Frevola (W, KO), Thiago Moises (W, TKO), Ismael Bonfim (W, submission).
This idea has some similarities to the Mateusz Gamrot play, with a bout that would make sense in sorting out contenders from pretenders in the UFC lightweight division. Benoit Saint-Denis is 11th, with plenty of talented fighters ahead of him. However, he has a few things Gamrot doesn’t have and those intangibles make for a compelling case for why he should fight Dustin Poirier at UFC 300.
Recency bias makes Benoit Saint-Denis one of the most exciting up and comers in the lightweight division. We are just over a week removed from a sensational head kick KO win over Matt Frevola under the bright lights of MSG at UFC 295. That follows up stoppages over Thiago Moises and Ismael Bonfim.
Those wins have singled Benoit Saint-Denis as probably the best fighter out of the ‘other guys’ at 155 lbs. To become one of ‘the guys’ in the division, he needs to take someone else’s place. Poirier is the perfect test for him to see if he deserves to be there, right now.
For Poirier BSD represents a new challenge and fresh face for him. That might be appealing. Again, Saint-Denis isn’t exactly going to sell PPVs on his own, but the match-up foretells the kind of action and violence that fans crave when it comes to seeing Poirier in action.
4. Gilbert Burns
Division: Welterweight (4th)
Last three fights: Belal Muhammad (L, unanimous decision), Jorge Masvidal (W, unanimous decision), Neil Magny (W, submission).
Up until now Dustin Poirier has never entertained the idea of moving up to 170 lbs to compete at welterweight. But as the years add up, and it’s harder to shed weight off those bones, he may need to reconsider how much he can cut down and whether he can keep up with the pace in MMA’s scariest shark tank.
If he were to move up to welterweight there are a plethora of options open to him. There’s paths to a title shot, grudge matches, legacy fights and fun fights all waiting for him there.
The biggest fight is him and Colby Covington. The pair, who used to train together, have lots of bad blood and have talked about fighting each other in the past. Covington is booked (against Leon Edwards), so the next best thing would be a fight that could get Poirier a step closer to Covington.
Dustin Poirier vs. Gilbert Burns would be a fascinating match-up and if Poirier comes out on top, he could probably call his own shot at welterweight. Burns is ranked 4th right now and is a former title challenger. He’s treading water slightly when it comes to maintaining relevancy as a title threat at 170 lbs and is close to the dreaded ‘gate-keeper’ designation.
However, he still has enough about him to make an interesting challenge to Poirier. A match-up between the pair would be a solid UFC 300 main card addition. Poirier’s welterweight debut would also be an added selling point for the show.
5. Roberto Satoshi de Souza
Division: Welterweight (4th)
Last three fights: Patricky Pitbull (L, TKO), Spike Caryle (W, unanimous decision), AJ McKee (L, unanimous decision).
This is my wild card pick. Having a new face in the UFC Octagon for UFC 300 would be pretty cool, especially someone who comes with a lot of accolades from a separate organization. Roberto Satoshi is the current RIZIN lightweight champion and a recent Bellator lightweight title challenger.
He’s also one of the best grapplers in MMA, with two ADCC championships under his belt and some bronzes and a silver from the World IBJJF championships, too.
If the UFC wanted to appeal to fight nerds with at least one bout on UFC 300, Dustin Poirier vs. Roberto Satoshi would be a great way to go.
This fight isn’t going to advance Poirier along a title track. But it could be a lot of fun. And what are we doing here if we’re not trying to have fun?
Of course the UFC don’t want to admit the existence of MMA outside of their Octagon, but if they did relax on that a little and actually sell a fight between one of their living legends and someone who has been very successful (and is very popular) somewhere else, this could be a really neat addition to a marque event.
Who did I miss?
Picking fights for Dustin Poirier is fun! I only did five here, but there are plenty that would be awesome additions to UFC 300. You must know at least one. Tell us in the comments. Feel free to rip on my choices, too.
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