When Dustin Poirier knocked out Justin Gaethje in the thrilling main event of the UFC’s recent stop in Glendale, AZ, it seemed like he’d all but locked up a bout with new UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Poirier even claimed that he’d been contacted by Nurmagomedov’s team about a potential fight.
“Khabib’s manager reached out to me and told me I’m the next guy in line and they want to fight me,” Poirier said on a recent episode of The MMA Hour.
From the sounds of it, however, Poirier’s title shot will probably wait. According to Brett Okamoto of ESPN, the UFC is working on a rematch between Poirier and former champion Eddie Alvarez, who he battled to a disappointing no contest in May of 2017. The bout is being targeted for the UFC’s July 28 stop in Calgary, Alberta.
Not official, but I'm hearing UFC is interested in doing the Alvarez/Poirier rematch in Calgary on July 28. That's a heck of a main event if it comes together.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) May 1, 2018
“Not official, but I’m hearing UFC is interested in doing the Alvarez/Poirier rematch in Calgary on July 28,” Okamoto said in a Tweet. “That’s a heck of a main event if it comes together.”
Okamoto’s wording is interesting, as it implies that this Poirier-Alvarez rematch would headline the Calgary card. This would be contrary to a previous report that the card would be topped by a women’s flyweight title fight between champ Nicco Montano and challenger Valentina Shevchenko.
If Poirier and Alvarez do indeed rematch in Calgary, it’s hard to say who will get the next crack at lightweight gold. Kevin Lee, who recently pummelled Edson Barboza to a stoppage win, is one option. Another is troubled former champ Conor McGregor, who is currently embroiled in a complicated legal situation after his infamous rampage in Brooklyn.
While Dustin Poirier initially hellbent on a rematch with Eddie Alvarez, he has since changed his tune, suggesting it’s not a fight he wants. From the sounds of if, though, it’s the fight he’ll get.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/1/2018.