After taking one of the longer paths to the top, ‘The Diamond,’ Dustin Poirier has stamped his ticket to an undisputed UFC lightweight title fight.
At UFC 236 earlier this month, Poirier did so by claiming the interim lightweight title by picking up his second career win over the current featherweight champion, Max Holloway. The two went to war for a full 25 minutes and Poirier would be the one to walk away with the unanimous decision victory.
Because of that, it lines him up to fight the undisputed king of the 155-pounders, ‘The Eagle,’ Khabib Nurmagomedov. Returning from his suspension in September, that’s when the fight is being targeted for. September 7 in Abu Dhabi to be exact.
Making an appearance at the UFC’s return event to Russia this past weekend in Saint Petersburg, the 27-0 champion told UFC correspondent, Megan Olivi that he needs to maul Poirier in their inevitable encounter. Thus prompting a response from The Diamond himself.
“This is fighting,” Poirier told MMAWeekly. “I’m going to try to hurt him for 25 minutes. I’m going to try to stop his body from working. That means nothing saying ‘I’m going to maul him’. You’re supposed to. I expect the same from him when I say I’m going to hurt him, I expect the same that he’s going to try to hurt me and take me out. That’s what fighting is.
“We’re not in there playing tennis. What can a guy say at this point? 40 fights into this crazy thing called mixed martial arts, I don’t care anymore. None of that bothers me anymore.
“I know what I need to do,” he continued. “I know how long I have to do it — 25 minutes — that’s all I care about.”
Since making the move up to lightweight from featherweight, Poirier has undeniably looked better than and ever and he’s gone 9-1 (1 NC) in the process (25-5 [1 NC] overall).
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/24/2019