Arguably the best lightweight in the UFC gave one of his first interviews today since his big win last month. Dustin Poirier (28-6, 1 NC) was the first guest on the return of Ariel Helwani’s MMA Hour on MMA Fighting this afternoon.
The Diamond has been relatively quiet since his second win over Conor McGregor (22-6) back at UFC 264. After Poirier picked up the win, it was universally expected that Poirier would be next in line for the UFC lightweight title.
However, with everything having gone quiet, there’s been no word on that fight getting finalized. While a fight with Poirier is what Charles Oliveira (31-8, 1 NC) is mentally preparing for, it might not be next for Dustin Poirier.
Poirier has always been a lightweight that has gone on his own path. Outside of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Poirier has been the best lightweight in the UFC over the last few years. If you think of any top lightweight outside of Oliveira and Nurmagomedov, Poirier has defeated them.
Originally, the UFC wanted Poirier to fight Oliveira for the title at UFC 262. However, Poirier chased the money fight and cashed in with a second win over Conor McGregor. Now, Poirier is in a very similar position.
UFC Title or Money Fight?
Poirier has been the target of recent callouts from the one and only Nate Diaz (20-13). Diaz is one of the biggest stars in the UFC and he’s been calling for a fight with Dustin Poirier for a long time.
The fight with Nate Diaz is something that Poirier has also wanted for a long time as he told Helwani today. Diaz has lost two consecutive fights, but neither fight has done anything to diminish his star power. In fact, his star power has seemingly become even greater.
He last fought at UFC 263 when he fought Leon Edwards at 170 pounds. Edwards was considered one of the best in the welterweight division and Diaz wanted to fight him because of how good he was.
Edwards controlled most of the fight, but Nate Diaz came on strong and almost finished Edwards in the final minute. While Edwards got the win, all the talk was about Nate Diaz after UFC 263.
Diaz and Poirier were once scheduled to fight and the fight fell through. Since then, both have gone back-and-forth with each other over social media. A fight between the two men seems inevitable.
Helwani told Poirier today that he believes the money fight for Poirier would be Diaz. However, the legacy fight would be for the UFC title. In reality, the ball is in Poirier’s court just like it was earlier this year. What will he do: Fight Charles Oliveira or Fight Nate Diaz? Time will tell on this one.