As expected, Dustin Poirier had an absolute war with Justin Gaethje at UFC on FOX 29 on Saturday.
Everyone knew both men were warriors going into the bout. We knew it even more afterwards.
— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) April 16, 2018
Now that the dust has settled, it’s time to contemplate what’s next for Poirier. In his postfight interview, he called out Khabib Nurmagomedov, and just a week ago, he could’ve probably had that fight if he were in Brooklyn and available (instead, Al Iaquinta got the call).
However, while Poirier’s last official loss was at the hands of Michael Johnson, the most recent question mark on his record was to former champ Eddie Alvarez. When the two clashed at UFC 211, both took turns beating the stuffing out of the other. Then it all ended on an unintentional illegal knee Alvarez landed on Poirier. The resulting “no contest” had Poirier clamoring for a rematch – which, according to Poirier on yesterday’s “The MMA Hour” – might have happened at UFC 223. Heck, Alvarez might have even got a crack at Nurmagomedov.
“Me and Eddie were offered a rematch on that Brooklyn show that Tony and Khabib were on,” Poirier said. “And my management told me that pretty much they’re probably trying to book this fight because if they fall out, one of you are going to replace them. I accepted the fight. Eddie turned it down. This was months ago. We could have been on that card, Eddie’s ranked higher than me, he probably would have fought for the belt a couple weekends ago.”
Poirier also said that this wasn’t the only time he was offered the bout, which would mark a rematch of their contentious no-contest at UFC 211, in which Poirier could not continue after an illegal knee to the head, for which Alvarez was not disqualified.
“It was offered a bunch of times, man,” Poirier said. “There were a bunch of cards that they offered the fight on. I accepted every time they offered it, Eddie turned it down every time. I think it was five times.”
Now, though, things have changed. Now Poirier has all sorts of momentum and fan-love. Maybe Alvarez was next in line for a shot at the title, but maybe Poirier has skipped over him.
What do you think?