In September of 2019, Dustin Poirier challenged the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight belt. Unfortunately for Poirier and his fans, the mission didn’t go as planned, as he was submitted by the champion in the third round.
Despite this loss, Poirier is still determined to be become the undisputed UFC lightweight champion in the future. His brief reign as the interim lightweight champ, he says, just doesn’t cut it as far as his legacy is concerned.
“My ultimate goal is to become the undisputed world champion,” Poirier told MMA Junkie. “I cannot just go on with my career chasing big fights or just exciting fights. Those are the things I want to be part of. I want to entertain the fans and put on great fights and have ‘Fight of the Nights’ and have exiting matchups, but at the same time I want to be the undisputed world champion. I don’t want to have an asterisk next to my accomplishments for the rest of my life. I don’t want everybody to say ‘interim champ’ every time someone says Dustin was the champion.”
In order to earn another crack at the lightweight belt, Poirier will have to produce another impressive win or two. While he’s currently healing up from hip surgery, he’s confident he can pull that off by year’s end.
“I want to fight three times in 2020. That’s my goal. Whether that’s April, May – whatever that is,” he said. “I want to fight three times this year. I’m just waiting on the call. I’m feeling good, getting my weight down, getting my technique sharp, and I want to fight in April.
“Either the world champion or closing the year out with a title shot – that’s realistic,” Poirier added. “I’m No. 2 (in the UFC’s rankings). Maybe one or two big fights, big wins away from another crack at it. Of course, every time I get beat out there I want to avenge those losses. I’m sure every fighter does. It’s not much about the revenge. It’s about the gold. Whoever has that, that’s the fight I want.”
Do you think Dustin Poirier will end up winning the UFC lightweight belt?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 1/24/2020.