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Dana White says Dustin Poirier is ‘absolutely’ a title contender after UFC Glendale

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MMA: UFC Fight Night Phoenix-Poirier vs Gaethje Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Dustin Poirier made the most out of yet another main even spot last night (Sat., April 14, 2018) at UFC on FOX 29 from inside Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, when he finished Justin Gaethje via fourth-round TKO in one of the best lightweight affairs in years.

The victory is a huge career accomplishment for “Diamond” as he creeps up on his first UFC title shot. Before becoming just the second fighter to put a stop to the wild “Highlight,” Poirier captured a TKO win over former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis and was on his way to possibly defeating Eddie Alvarez at UFC 211 before “Underground King” launched some illegal strikes.

While Poirier isn’t guaranteed anything in the highly unpredictable 155-pound division, it’s nice to hear UFC president Dana White give him a vote of confidence after his main event melee with Gaethje.

“Absolutely (he’s a title contender),” White said during the UFC on FOX 29 post-fight show on FOX Sports 2. “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.”

Remember, the promotion was scrambling to find a replacement for Tony Ferguson Max Holloway at UFC 223 earlier this month to fight undefeated contender Khabib Nurmagomedov for the undisputed lightweight title and eventually settled on Al Iaquinta. Nurmagomedov went on to defeat the New Yorker via decision to claim the 155-pound crown, stealing glory away from former divisional titleholders Conor McGregor and Tony Ferguson.

Even though Nurmagomedov’s first title defense remains up in the air, “Diamond” believes now is the perfect time for him to step up, cash in on his past accolades, and make a run at UFC gold.

“I’ve paid my dues,” Poirier said. “I’ve put nothing but hard work in. I’ve been close to the mountaintop 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.”

Only time will tell if UFC grants Poirier a massive bout with “Eagle” later this year. But if McGregor remains stuck in bus headlights and “El Cucuy” can’t heal up quickly, Poirier may actually get his chance to shine.

For complete UFC on FOX 29 results and coverage click here.