Ever since moving up to lightweight in 2015, Dustin Poirier has been unstoppable. He is 8-1 with one no-contest, with the majority of his wins coming by way of stoppage and in main event spots.
However, while his resume looks impressive, Poirier has still yet to fight for the UFC lightweight title. Instead, he has had to keep on fighting top contenders, until finally he said he’d only be accepting title fights or money fights henceforth.
At UFC 230, it looked like he’d be getting his money fight, as he was set to take on Nate Diaz. However, Poirier had to pull out of the fight due to a hip injury, ending the chances of him fighting Diaz, according to American Top Team owner, Dan Lambert.
“If you listen to the UFC they say Diaz doesn’t want to fight anymore,” Lambert said. “I was really excited about that fight, I thought that would be a very fan friendly fight.”
Although Poirier had to pull out of the fight with an injury, he returned to the gym faster than anticipated and is now waiting for his next fight. However, the division is in a pause so to speak, given champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is currently suspended and Tony Ferguson will most likely get the next shot at Nurmagomedov’s title.
If that turns out to be the case, Poirier will have a decision to make: wait for a title shot or take another fight in the interim.
“It all depends on what fight is available. If they do Khabib vs Tony, then DP will have a decision to make,” Lambert said. “He will either have to fight or wait. I mean how many times do you have to fight on main events on shows to get a title shot. He has done it with (Justin) Gaethje, (Anthony) Pettis, Eddie (Alvarez), he has had those big main event type fights. He’s finishing guys right and left. He has been right there for a title shot and I’d like to see him get a title shot but I don’t see any way he oversteps Tony.”
“I think DP is right where he needs to be to fight for a belt,” he added later. “This guy has some big wins against big names and none of those wins are boring. He is such a fan-friendly fighter where it is like get that man a title shot, he’s earned it.”
Although Poirier wants a title shot, one fight that would interest him is a rematch against Conor McGregor. Their first fight, which went down at featherweight, did not go Poirier’s way, but at lightweight, he has looked exponentially more dangerous. Lambert is all for this rematch if Poirier can’t get a title shot.
“DP is a much better fighter than he used to be. He is just as or more dangerous than he ever has,” he said. “He is also way more defensive and doesn’t take as much damage as he used to. He’s a lot better fighter and he has improved everywhere. Plus, who wouldn’t want to fight Conor? Conor is Conor. I give tons of credit to Conor because he has gotten better. So I’m not going to say who would win the fight. Anybody would like to see that fight, f**k red panty night am I right?”
What do you think should be next for Dustin Poirier?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 2/4/2019.