Making an Older Diamond Shine Once Again

December 20, 2023
4 months

Dustin Poirier desperately wants to be involved with UFC 300. For the milestone cards, the UFC always attempts to bring in as many high-profile names as possible to fight and reward fans. Memorably, at UFC 200, Brock Lesnar came out of retirement to main event a card in a heavyweight bout against Mark Hunt.

But it has already been confirmed that Lesnar won’t be returning. Ronda Rousey won’t be making a historic comeback. So, the UFC needs exciting fighters to sell the event. Poirier has a fan-friendly style.

Who the UFC will pair Poirier with next is unclear. Poirier, 34, hasn’t been the most active fighter over the past few years. In 2023, Poirier only fought once, losing via head kick knockout against Justin Gaethje. Poirier’s only fight in 2022 was a submission win over Michael Chandler.

Poirier, still ranked No. 3 in the weight class, has plenty of capable opponents to be matched up with. But if Poirier wants to climb the ladder, he must pick one, if not two, victories over top-flight opponents to get back into the picture. The veteran fighter has always been someone willing to take on challenges and has many opponents who would be interested in being across the cage from him, according to the best MMA news sites.

Would the UFC Want Poirier-McGregor IV?

Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo made UFC history when they became the first combatants to square off against each other four times. But all four of those fights were for the title. Also, a rematch was necessary after they fought the first time because the first fight ended in a draw.

But a fourth fight would feel appropriate with Poirier and Conor McGregor, even if it doesn’t help Poirier’s pursuit of a title. The two had a pair of fights in 2022 that both sold well. Poirier won both fights by finish, the first by TKO and the second by a doctor’s stoppage. Each of those two pay-per-views recorded more than 1.5 million pay-per-view buys.

McGregor had knocked out Poirier during a fight earlier in the duo’s career, meaning Poirier has a 2-1 lead in the series. During the second and third fights, McGregor and Poirier had a lot of bad blood. McGregor routinely attacked Poirier’s wife and continued even after losing the third fight. Poirier has expressed interest in the fight, which would likely net him a large payday.

McGregor would like to settle the score. However, he is slated to fight Michael Chandler upon his lengthy layoff. However, the UFC may skip Chandler to set up this fight again.

Hard to Take Covington Seriously

Colby Covington talks trash about a lot of people. For whatever reason, Covington set his sights on Poirier during his recent interviews with various media organizations. Referring to Poirier as “Louisiana swamp trash,” Covington has tried to bait Poirier into a confrontation.

Much like McGregor, Covington has also verbally attacked Poirier’s wife. But Covington’s most recent fight, an unremarkable decision loss to Leon Edwards at UFC 296, hurt Covington’s stock significantly.

With Covington’s star power taking a big hit with the defeat, this feud will likely stay in the media.

Trilogy With Gaethje Makes Sense

The lightweight division will be at a standstill while Charles Oliveira waits for his rematch with Islam Makhachev. The two were supposed to fight in October, but Oliveira was injured in training. Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski stepped in to take the fight, losing by a first-round head kick.

Makhachev has yet to defend against another lightweight, beating Volkanovski twice in his two title defenses. The big issue is that the lightweights waiting for an opportunity have been forced to sit on the sideline. Gaethje, like Poirier, is a former interim lightweight champion but lost both chances at unified gold.

Poirier and Gaethje have already fought twice, with each man winning by knockout. Gaethje may not be eager to fight Poirier again just yet. If Gaethje were to rematch Poirier and lose, he likely wouldn’t get another chance at the title. Gaethje may be willing to sit out and wait his turn.

Is It Time to Play Gatekeeper?

Arman Tsarukyan is right behind Poirier in the rankings. He is also the fighter who may have given Makhachev his toughest test in the octagon. While Tsarukyan believes he deserves a chance to fight for the belt now, he may need to fight again to stay active.

Poirier is an intriguing stylistic matchup for Tsarukyan. The American striker is capable on his feet and has enough of a wrestling background to prevent Tsarukyan from dragging him down to the mat. This matchup makes a lot of sense.

Tsarukyan is a hot name after his knockout win over Beneil Dariush, according to MMA news sites.

Gamrot Could Be a Nice Challenge

Mateusz Gamrot is sixth in the lightweight rankings and would provide a nice matchup for Poirier. Gamrot isn’t a potent striker but is a well-rounded fighter who makes every opponent work for everything. There will be a sense of urgency for Gamrot as well.

Gamrot is 23-2 in his career but has had a few bizarre results on his record recently. During Gamrot’s last fight, he beat Rafael Fiziev in the second round after his challenger suffered a knee injury. He also beat Arman Tsarukyan in June 2022 in a controversial split decision.

Gamrot’s most recent loss, to Dariush in October 2022, hasn’t aged particularly well. Oliveira has knocked out Dariush and Tsarukyan in his past two outings.

Money, Legacy May be Two Motivators for Poirier

Poirier has been in the UFC for over a decade after coming from the WEC. Other than being an undisputed champion, Poirier hasn’t much left to prove. He didn’t shy away from fighting any of his top contemporaries.

Poirier had battles with Max Holloway, Dustin Hooker, Khabib Nurmagomedov, McGregor and many others. The next step for Poirier could be a long wait for a big-money or championship bout. Taking a step down to fight up-and-coming challengers may not be appealing, as that could present a risk for Poirier, according to MMA news websites.

Find all the latest boxing news and MMA breaking updates on boxingnews.com.

THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING boxingnews.COM

TAGS
COMMENTS

RELATED NEWS