Dustin Poirier believes his upcoming fight against Conor McGregor could end up being for the undisputed UFC Lightweight Championship.
The two former featherweight rivals are set to meet more than six years on from their first encounter, and while both men have been through a lot in that time, they seem to be as passionate and determined as they’ve ever been to win gold once again.
Of course, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dana White have both hinted that “The Eagle” may come back out of retirement for one more fight, but Poirier seems to believe that there’s a chance his January 23 fight could end up being for all for the marbles.
“I think if Khabib’s retired and not coming back, then I’m next in line for the title shot, and this could be the title fight,” Poirier told MMA Junkie. “This could be for the undisputed belt. I think that’d make sense. Dana’s saying one thing, Khabib’s saying another. Who knows what the truth is? Time will tell.”
“The division has to move on,” Poirier added. “The only thing that makes me think the guy is serious is, first of all, he doesn’t seem like a bull(expletive)er, and if he said he’s done right after the fight and his father just passed away, it’s an emotional moment. You just got another title defense, you get to go back home to your family. You might say those things right after. But a month later, you’re still singing the same tune? Maybe the guy’s mind is somewhere else. Maybe he is moving forward. Maybe, like he said, he’s accomplished everything he set out to do. I don’t know. But if he is done, somebody has to fight for that belt.”
Despite the animosity that Poirier had towards McGregor back in 2014, “The Diamond” isn’t taking things quite as personally this time.
“He was obviously a great fighter in finishing a bunch of guys before me in his UFC career, but at this point we’re both so much more established and have so much more experience, just more mature fighters, and I think you get a completely different fight here,” Poirier told MMA Junkie earlier in the week. “I was emotional in the first one — I wanted to hurt the guy. This time I just want to outsmart him, just want to beat him. This is business. This isn’t any ill will towards the guy.”
Do you think there could be a title on the line in Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor’s upcoming rematch?