UFC lightweight contender Dustin Poirier was very close to fighting Nate Diaz earlier this month.
The Stockton native headlined UFC 279 earlier this month on pay-per-view. However, Diaz didn’t get the opponent he originally signed up for. The fan-favorite was first set to face Khamzat Chimaev in the main event.
However, after ‘Borz’ badly missed weight, the headliner fell apart. Due to that, the UFC was forced to get creative. In the end, the card had a full re-shuffle, that saw Tony Ferguson bumped from the co-main event to a five-round bout with Diaz.
At the event, Nate Diaz defeated ‘El Cucuy’ by fourth-round submission. With that, the 37-year-old was able to ride off into the sunset, and cap off his UFC career. Diaz has recently stated that he aims to box next, and has a possible showdown with Jake Paul around the corner.
While the new UFC 279 main event was well received by fans, it almost didn’t happen. In an interview with Heavy Sports, Dustin Poirier discussed how he almost got the short-notice call-up after Khamzat Chimaev missed weight.
As ‘The Diamond’ explained, he accepted the fight against Nate Diaz. Poirier also noted that he had a pilot on standby and that the UFC was on board. In the end, complications with the athletic commission led the promotion to settle on Tony Ferguson.
“It [phone call with UFC] was good. It was surprising,” Poirier said. “My coach Mike Brown just flew into Louisiana the night before, and it was his birthday. So, I ate some pasta, so I was a little bit heavy the morning they called. Then they offered me the fight and I accepted it. They had to go through hurdles with the athletic commission to try to make this thing happen, for me to fly over same day.” (h/t MMAMania)
“Luckily for me, I have some friends who have the ability to — and pilots — get me to Vegas on very short-notice time, so I had that set up. Everything was good to go. But I think it ultimately came down to the athletic commission,” Poirier continued. “Tony had already weighed in and they wanted to go that way instead. But I did accept, and I did speak to the UFC, and they were very thankful.”
What do you think about Dustin Poirier’s comments? Would you have rather seen him fight Nate Diaz? Sound off in the comment section below!