Veteran lightweight Dustin Poirier is still on a mission to hoist Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) gold in 2020.
The 31-year-old contender had his first true title shot at UFC 242 this past September. Poirier had just defeated Max Holloway for the interim 155-pound belt before locking horns with undisputed champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. While Poirier was one of the hottest names in the game coming into that fight it was Khabib who dominated the action and secured an eventual third-round submission win.
Poirier, who took nearly nine years to get his first UFC title shot, is still aiming high entering the new year. The 23-fight UFC veteran is looking to rebound in devastating fashion and prove he still has what it takes to win the big one.
“My ultimate goal is to become the undisputed world champion,” Poirier told MMA Junkie. “I cannot just go on with my career chasing big fights or just exciting fights. Those are the things I want to be part of. I want to entertain the fans and put on great fights and have ‘Fight of the Nights’ and have exiting matchups, but at the same time I want to be the undisputed world champion. I don’t want to have an asterisk next to my accomplishments for the rest of my life. I don’t want everybody to say, ‘interim champ’ every time someone says Dustin was the champion.”
Even with former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor back in the mix, “Diamond” could have a chance to fight his way back into title contention in 2020. Poirier has already called out likes of Nate Diaz for a star-studded affair so maybe a win of that sort would propel Poirier back to the top.
“Either the world champion or closing the year out with a title shot – that’s realistic,” Poirier said about his 2020 aspirations. “I’m No. 2 (in the UFC’s rankings). Maybe one or two big fights, big wins away from another crack at it. Of course, every time I get beat out there, I want to avenge those losses. I’m sure every fighter does. It’s not much about the revenge. It’s about the gold. Whoever has that, that’s the fight I want.”
The path remains unknown at this time, but that isn’t going to stop Poirier from setting his goals high for the future. That is exactly what the veteran has done throughout his professional MMA career so there’s no need to change things now.
What say you, Maniacs? How many wins does Poirier need for another UFC title shot?