Although Dustin Poirier (23-5-0, 1NC) may not be the next opponent for Khabib Nurmagomedov’s (26-0-0) lightweight championship, he’s certainly in the running.
After his spectacular TKO finish over Justin Gaethje (18-2-0) in Saturday’s UFC on Fox 29 main event, he called for a title shot against the newly crowned 155-pound champion, who won the belt earlier this month at UFC 223.
With all the controversy surrounding former champion Conor McGregor (21-3) and Tony Furguson’s (23-3-0) injury, Poirier believes the timing is right for a match-up against Nurmagomedov. UFC President, Dana White, wouldn’t announce Dustin Poirier as the #1 contender, but he verified that he’s in the running for the opportunity:
Absolutely (he’s a title contender). He’s definitely in there. He was one of the guys we were thinking about calling last to take the fight (at UFC 223), but we didn’t want to screw up this event. Thank God we didn’t.
Poirier is aware the lightweight division is in a bit of a messy state, but he thinks a title shot is realistic. Nurmagomedov won’t be able to compete again until at least August or September due to his observation of Ramadan. Since Poirier took quite a bit of damage in his fight against Gaethje, this timetable could work perfectly for him:
I’ve paid my dues. I’ve put nothing but hard work in. I’ve been close to the mountain top and I’ve been knocked down. I’ve shown resilience and fortitude and I’ve done it over and over again to put myself back in the position I’m in, and I’m hitting my stride as a father, a fighter, a husband and a person. I’m ready to go, and gold is next. I smell it. I feel it in the air
For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 29, check out our result and analysis