Dustin Poirier is ready and willing to fight Tony Ferguson in the new main event of the chaotic UFC 249 card.
Early this morning, UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov took to Instagram live to share the unfortunate news that he is stuck in his native Russia due to the coronavirus pandemic, which effectively nixes any possibility of his fighting Ferguson at UFC 249 as planned.
“Currently, I am in Dagestan and I am training and preparing every day,” Nurmagomedov said on Instagram Live. “Although I don’t know what am I preparing for because after we came to Russia we also learned that the borders are going to be locked. Same as in the States, the same as in Europe, Emirates, everywhere. The whole world is in quarantine right now.
“I am hearing that they are looking to organize it with or without me,” Nurmagomedov added, divulging that the UFC is hunting for a new foe for Ferguson.
Enter Dustin Poirier.
“Not an ideal time frame or preparation, but any chance I get to prove that I’m the best, I’ll take it,” Poirier told MMA Junkie. “I texted Dana and Sean that I would fight Tony.”
100% yes https://t.co/hma6MU8ZcV
— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) March 30, 2020
Poirier has not fought since a valiant but ultimately unsuccessful effort to capture the lightweight from Nurmagomedov in September. He was recently linked to a May fight with Dan Hooker in San Diego, California, but that bout seems unlikely amid the threat of the coronavirus pandemic.
Poirier is not the only fighter to offer to step in and fight at UFC 249. UFC welterweight star Jorge Masvidal — a training partner of Poirier — also offered to compete on the card, though he didn’t call out Ferguson specifically.
ESPN has also reported that the UFC has contacted Justin Gaethje about fighting Ferguson on short notice.
Does a fight between Dustin Poirier and Tony Ferguson interest you? Who do you think would win?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/30/2020.