The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight division hit a bit of speed bump yesterday (Tues., Jan. 29, 2019) after Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) suspended current division kingpin, Khabib Nurmagomedov, for a period of nine months for his part in the post-fight brawl with Conor McGregor and Co. at UFC 229 last October.
“The Eagle,” though, decided to suspend himself for a whole year, which means he will not return to action until November. If Khabib stays true to his word, the 155-pound title will have been on ice for over a year, which isn’t music to any title-contender’s ears.
Chief among them is top lightweight Dustin Poirier, who was seemingly in line to get the next crack at Khabib. While there are other options for “The Diamond” to entertain in the interim, he has dwindled it down to just two fighters he’s willing to face. If not, then he wants a new contract.
And he even did his best Nurmagomedov impersonation while slamming UFC.
Winner of three straight over heavy-hitters Eddie Alvarez, Justin Gaethje and Anthony Pettis, Poirer says it’s time he gets his just due.
The good news is McGregor was only suspended for six months, which means he could be ready for a return to action as early April or May. The bad news — at least for Dustin — “Notorious” seems to favor a fight against Donald Cerrone.
There is always Tony Ferguson, the former interim division king who is on a ridiculous 11-fight win streak. At the moment, his dance card is empty so a fight against Poirier makes all the sense in the world. If UFC matchmakers don’t see it that way, then it could be a while before we see Dustin back in action.
Poirier is just the latest UFC fighter on the current roster who has openly expressed his disdain for its recent matchmaking.