After getting stopped at UFC 291, what’s next for Dustin Poirier?

MMA: UFC 291 - Poirier vs Gaethje
Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

This past Saturday night in the main event of UFC 291, the vacant BMF belt was on the line in a rematch fans were clamoring for. Two former interim lightweight champions battled it out as Dustin Poirier (29-8) took on Justin Gaethje (25-4).

When these two first fought, the fight was a crazy back and forth affair. In the fourth round, Poirier was able to catch Gaethje flush with shot and ultimately put him away to get the TKO win. Everyone was expecting another war on Saturday. In the first round, both men threw major heat at the other.

Poirier did seem to hurt Gaethje in the first round. However, it was enough to put Gaethje away. Gaethje had moments too and the first round was very close with Poirier taking it on a couple of the scorecards. It didn’t take long though before the fight came to a crashing halt.

In the opening minute of the second round, Gaethje threw a right straight. Behind that right straight was a right head kick that Poirier never saw. The kick hit him flush and he went crashing down. One follow up shot and Justin Gaethje got the knockout win to become the UFC’s new BMF.

What’s next after UFC 291?

This is a really tough loss for Dustin Poirier. The Diamond admitted that he’s only fighting to try and get back to the lightweight championship. This is a setback and he knows it. That said, Poirier was upbeat in the post-fight press conference and handled the loss perfectly.

The future is a little cloudy right now for Poirier. He admitted on Saturday that at this point in his career, he has no interest in fighting up and comers. He also admitted that when he was offered Beneil Dariush earlier this year, he said no because the fight gave him no excitement.

It sounds like the UFC has a bit of a challenge on their hands to book Poirier again. If Poirier was willing to take the fight, Dariush does make all the sense in the world. However, I don’t think he is interested. So, what fight is out there? Of course, there’s the fourth fight with Conor McGregor that could materialize.

The UFC could always re-sign Nate Diaz after his boxing matchup with Jake Paul this weekend. That’s been a fight Poirier has always wanted. However, I think the most reasonable fight is likely the loser of the next title fight. Whether it’s Makhachev or a rematch with Charles Oliveira, that seems to be the logical next fight for The Diamond.