Dustin Poirier returned to the Octagon last weekend for the first time since suffering a submission loss to reigning lightweight kingpin Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Poirier was matched up with streaking lightweight contender Dan Hooker in last Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 12 main event and the bout seemingly surpassed it’s high expectations.
‘The Diamond’ and ‘The Hangman’ proceeded to go to war for twenty-five straight minutes, leaving both men battered and bruised following their five round slugfest. In the end, Dustin Poirier was awarded a unanimous decision victory from the judges in attendance.
Speaking with ESPN‘s Ariel Helwani, the Louisiana native in Poirier discussed what it was like fighting in a empty arena with no fans.
“If I could choose, I would fight like that for the rest of my career. It felt like it was just me and Dan (Hooker). I was just very focused and I like that feeling. I can perform in that, because it’s true. It’s just us, no outside (interference), no distraction. It’s just fighting and that’s what I do best.”
Following his “fight of the night” win over Hooker, Dustin Poirier now finds himself ranked #2 in the UFC’s lightweight division.
The reigning 155lbs champion in Khabib Nurmagomedov is expected to square off with current interim champ and #1 ranked lightweight Justin Gaethje this September.
While Dustin Poirier could very well fight for the title in his next Octagon appearance, other options exist in the form of Tony Ferguson or a potential rematch with the recently retired Conor McGregor (if the Irish star decides to return).
Another potential option for ‘The Diamond’ could be a potential “money fight” with Nate Diaz. The pair were previously slated to meet back in November of 2018, but the proposed bout fell apart for various reasons.
Who would you like to see Dustin Poirier fight next and what do you think of his comments regarding fighting inside of an empty arena? Share your thoughts in the comments section PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on July 4, 2020