Al Iaquinta is looking to get back to his winning ways and believes fellow former lightweight title challenger Dustin Poirier is the guy that should be standing across the Octagon from him.
Following his title fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov — which he took on a little over a day’s notice after the craziness of the UFC 223 fight week — “Raging” Al defeated Kevin Lee via unanimous decision. Since then, Iaquinta has dropped back-to-back fights to Donald Cerrone and Dan Hooker.
Poirier is coming off of a submission loss to Nurmagomedov at September’s UFC 242 event. After “The Diamond” appeared on Monday’s Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, Iaquinta also stopped by to discuss his upcoming grappling match with Mike Perry at SUG 11 this Sunday.
After that, Iaquinta believes a fight with Poirier is the one to make.
“He doesn’t have a fight coming up, that’s the fight,” Iaquinta said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “The UFC just has to call him. I called Hunter [Campbell], I texted Sean Shelby, I said ‘that’s the fight’ and I’m pretty sure… maybe they didn’t offer it to him, but if they did, he turned it down. Either way, the offer’s extended now and that’s it. I think it’s a good fight.”
With Iaquinta going the distance with the always-dangerous and undefeated Nurmagomedov on short notice, and Poirier succumbing to a third round rear naked choke on a full-camp to prepare (as Iaquinta put it on Monday), the 32-year-old Long Island native doesn’t think Poirier’s stock has risen much.
In fact, if the UFC were to match the two up, Iaquinta feels it will be a long night for Poirier.
“He thinks his stock is a lot higher than it is. He would’ve gotten choked unconscious but he tapped before the deed could be done,” Iaquinta said. “I think that’s the fight that needs to be made.
“He thinks he’s the no.1 contender but he’s really not. I fought Khabib on a minute’s notice. He said he wants an exciting fight, he’s gonna get an exiting fight. I’m gonna f**k him up.
“That’s the fight.”
After the interview, Poirier responded to the callout from Iaquinta via Twitter.
@ALIAQUINTA Bro you won 2 fights in the last 5 years…. pipe down
— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) February 17, 2020
“Bro you won two fights in the last five years… pipe down,” Poirier told Iaquinta.
Would you want to see a fight between Al Iaquinta and Dustin Poirier?