Dustin Poirier is looking to make a big splash in 2020 after coming up short in his first undisputed UFC title shot against lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov this past September.
The 30-year-old veteran had won four in a row, including an interim lightweight title fight opposite Max Holloway, before his eventual defeat to Khabib. That sort of success should help “Diamond” land on his feet pretty quickly in the new year and regain divisional momentum with one big win.
Since his loss to Nurmagomedov, Poirier has been calling for a matchup with proven needle pusher Nate Diaz, who was scheduled to fight “Diamond” at UFC 230 before Poirier was forced to withdraw due to injury. Poirier has already made it known that he’d like to have a chance to knock Diaz out, as well as fight a legend of the sport.
“Of course I would love that fight,” Poirier told MMA Fighting. “Not just because of the stuff between me and him leading up to that last fight, but he’s a guy coming up I always wanted to fight. I want to fight guys I’m excited to watch fight. Any time Nate Diaz fights, I’m tuning in, I promise you.”
For Poirier, fighting a veteran of the sport like Diaz could offer rewards beyond just a win. Despite their past issues outside of the cage, “Diamond” is still a fan of Diaz and believes a potential clash would produce spectacular fireworks, which could lead to even bigger opportunities within the promotion.
“Whether I like the guy or not, I’m a fan,” he said. “I think it would be an incredible fight. That’s why I want to fight him, because I grew up watching the guy fight.”
While Diaz is hoping to reschedule a bout opposite Nate, the American Top Team (ATT) standout is also lobbying for a matchup between teammate Jorge Masvidal and Nick Diaz on the same card. After all, Masvidal and big brother Nick started talking trash to one another after “Gamebred” pieced up Nate at UFC 244 to win the “BMF” belt.
“Let’s do it,” Poirier said. “I train with Jorge, so it makes sense. American Top Team versus the Nick Diaz Academy. They can bring Kron Gracie, we have some 145-pounders who can run it with him. We’ve got Charles Rosa, we’ve got Renato Moicano, we got a squad. I think that would be great.”
Given the current jam log of contenders at 155 pounds it may be wise for Poirier to think outside of the box and score a bout with Diaz. But considering Diaz has competed at 170 pounds his last four trips to the Octagon “Diamond” may have to come up in weight to land the fight he really wants.
“I’d fight Nate at 170 (pounds), or 155, or we can make it at 165 and go there,” Poirier stated. “I would definitely do it. Not have to cut a little bit of weight to make it. I’m not a small guy.”
“I’m all for it. Let’s call (UFC matchmaker) Sean Shelby and the UFC right now.”