Dustin Poirier Makes Good on Premier Title Tilt
By Ross Markey
After his stellar claiming of the interim lightweight championship against Max Holloway at UFC 236, Dustin Poirier believes he holds the secret formula to hand Khabib Nurmagomedov his first ever loss and unify the lightweight crown.
The Lafayette native scored a career-defining decision victory over featherweight best Max Holloway in Atlanta, Georgia last Saturday to pick up a well deserved Octagon title. Newly minted champion Poirier gave his assessment on a probable match up with ‘The Eagle’ and the tools he has to defeated the undefeated, in his post-fight press appearance. “Grit. Determination. The right amount of crazy. Self-belief. Everything it takes to be a champion.”
Dagestan’s Nurmagomedov awaits ‘The Diamond’, possibly this September according to promotion president Dana White. Speaking with media after a memorable co-main and main event, White outlined his hope for a unification clash after the summer. “Yes, that’s the fight. Poirier will fight Khabib next. Probably in September.”
Rumors have circulated that the organization is planning a return to Abu Dhabi this September for the first time since UFC Fight Night: Nogueria vs. Nelson back in 2014, with a unification clash between Khabib and Poirier expected to headline.
Still yet to complete his lengthy suspension for his part in the post-UFC 229 brawl with Conor McGregor’s corner, Khabib is eligible to return to competition this August, and welcomed the challenge of American Top Team trainee Poirier on Twitter. “I don’t agree with the judges 49:46, I got a draw, my respect to both fighters, and Poirier’s achievement so far cannot be denied, my congratulations Dustin, see you in September. 🦅 vs 🔹”
Former opponent and two-weight champion Conor McGregor chimed in with his opinion on the rematch between former foe’s Holloway and Poirier, and who should await Poirier’s arrival ahead of his next Octagon walk. “Amazing main event fights. How fighting should be! Max you are insanely tough! Please rest up now young Uce, you are a warrior head to toe. A champion FOREVER. Congratulations Dustin on a well deserved UFC title to your career. It is Nate next for you like previously scheduled.” ‘The Notorious’ one has been endlessly campaigning for an immediate rematch with bitter enemy Nurmagomedov since his initial defeat last October, and now looks to play matchmaker for Poirier.
At UFC 231, Nate Diaz was expected to make his long-awaited return against Dustin Poirier until a hip injury forced the Louisiana boxer from the contest, a matchup McGregor believes needs to play out next.
Photo Credit: AFP