Earlier this month, it was announced that fan favorite lightweight contender Nate Diaz will make his long awaited return to the Octagon opposite top lightweight contender Dustin Poirier in the co-main event of UFC 230 on November 3.
Since then, however, an ornery Diaz has repeatedly suggested that he’s no longer willing to take this fight.
Speaking on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, Dustin Poirier updated on the status of massive lightweight showdown. Apparently, he’s not too worried.
“I mean, as far as I know [it’s still on],” Poirier told host Luke Thomas (transcript via MMA Fighting). “I think I’m the one fighting the guy. If something changed, I think they would have let me know. I haven’t heard anything. Nate says a lot of stuff, but when he signs a fight contract, I don’t really know of any times that he’s not shown up to fight or pulled out of a fight. He says a lot of stuff and does a lot of stuff in the media between fights, but when he signs a contract, the guy shows up and puts it all on the line every time.”
Poirier added that he thinks Diaz was upset about the timing of the announcement of Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov’s UFC 229 title fight, which overshadowed all other fights on the UFC calendar.
“I think what it was is, he was upset that he came down to do the press conference and then they promoted Conor and Khabib, and those guys weren’t even there and he was there,” Poirier said. “I don’t know, I think that’s maybe more of what it was, like he wasted his time promoting these other guys while he’s there on stage and they didn’t talk about his fight, type of thing. But I’m not 100 percent [sure]. That’s just hearsay.”
Dustin Poirier also explained why he accepted the fight with Diaz when he could have potentially waited for a fight with the winner of McGregor and Nurmagomedov’s showdown.
“Putting the title aside, Nate’s probably the second-biggest fight that I can get,” he explained. “It would be Conor, that would be the biggest fight obviously, and then it’s Nate Diaz. In the lightweight division, that’s the biggest fight I can get right now. And Nate’s a guy I’ve always watched fight. I’ve been a fan of his for a long time, I’ve always wanted to fight him. And Madison Square Garden is another part of it, I’ve always wanted to fight at Madison Square Garden. There’s so much history there. I’ve fought a lot of places, that’s one place I want to scratch off the list. So this fight just made sense.
“If the UFC told me that, ‘Yeah, you’re going to fight for the belt in four months,’ I could’ve waited four or five months. But the way it looks, Conor and Khabib are going to fight towards the end of the year, then I don’t know what’s going to happen, when the belt’s going to be defended again, and you never know what’s going to happen, man, so I don’t want to wait 10 months. I want to stay busy and this fight made a lot of sense to me.”
Do you think Nate Diaz will show up to fight Dustin Poirier at UFC 230?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/9/2018.