At UFC 236, streaking UFC lightweight contender Dustin Poirier will finally fight for UFC gold, as he’s set to battle featherweight champion Max Holloway for the interim lightweight belt.
Generally speaking, when a fighter wins an interim title, the expectation is that they are guaranteed a crack at the undisputed champion thereafter. In Poirier’s case that would mean a fight with undisputed champ Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Unfortunately, we’ve seen several interim champions deprived of this opportunity of late — Tony Ferguson and Colby Covington — which proves that an interim title win is far from a guarantee of a shot at the undisputed title.
Speaking on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, Dustin Poirier discussed a potential interim lightweight title win, and what it might mean for his career. Apparently, he has not yet been assured that the winner of his fight with Holloway will get a shot at Nurmagomedov.
“No I have not been promised that,” he said (transcript via MMA Mania). “But I assume when I get the belt around my waist that’s what it means. That’s what the interim title means, it means you’re next.”
“We will cross that bridge when we get to it,” he added. “I got my hands full, I got another six weeks of grind. I don’t want to create problems that aren’t there yet. I got a lot to do before that.”
Dustin Poirier also briefly touched on Max Holloway’s interim title shot, which comes in UFC lightweight debut.
“It’s a little weird for him to jump up and get a crack at the interim belt, but at the same time, If I’m the next guy, the fight makes sense with the story line that I beat him seven years ago.”
Do you think a win over Max Holloway will guarantee Dustin Poirier a fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov, or could he soon find himself in Tony Ferguson and Colby Covington’s shoes?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 2/27/2019.