Last Saturday night, in the main event of UFC 236, Dustin Poirier defeated UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway to earn the UFC interim lightweight title. Having earned this title, he can now look forward to a title-unifier with undisputed lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov — most likely in September, per UFC President Dana White.
“Yes, that’s the fight,” White said at the UFC 236 post-fight press conference (via MMA Fighting). “Poirier will fight Khabib next. Probably in September.
“Some guys have the Israel Adesanya path and the Conor McGregor path and some have the Poirier path,” White continued. “If you look, I don’t remember what the numbers were, but Chuck Liddell had to go through that same thing and then Tito (Ortiz) wouldn’t fight him and there’s been a lot of guys — Tony Ferguson, look at the bad luck that guy’s had. And the list goes on and on, some people it works out for and some people have longer roads.
“Poirier has stayed the path and trained hard and done what he’s had to do to to get here and tonight was his night. He fought an incredible fighter and he won.”
Though this fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov is still some distance away, Dustin Poirier has already been identified as a significant bettering underdog against the Russian champ. That being said, he believes he’s got precisely what it takes to hand the undefeated Nurmagomedov his first professional loss. And just what does he believe it’ll take?
Here’s how he put it:
“Grit, determination, the right amount of crazy, self-belief,” Poirier said at the UFC 236 post-fight press conference, detailing what he sees as the recipe for beating Nurmagomedov. “Everything it takes to be a champion, I have that.”
Do you think Dustin Poirier is the man to beat Khabib Nurmagomedov?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 4/17/2019.