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Dustin Poirier believes UFC on ESPN 12 win puts him ‘one fight away’ from title shot

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Former UFC lightweight title challenger Dustin Poirier is hoping to launch himself back into contention with a win over Dan Hooker later this evening (Sat., June 27, 2020) at UFC on ESPN 12 live on ESPN/ESPN+ from inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Poirier, who is coming off a submission loss to UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov this past September at UFC 242, is ready to rebound in dramatic fashion this weekend in Vegas. Luckily for “Diamond,” Hooker is the perfect opponent to share the Octagon with and capture the attention of fight fans everywhere.

“I want to be involved in fights that fans are excited about,” said Poirier during UFC on ESPN 12’s virtual media day (h/t MMA Fighting). “On their feet cheering as the fight goes on. And these are the kind of fighters I want to fight. Guys who bring those action-packed fights.”

While Poirier was briefly lobbying for matchups against the like of Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz the promotion ultimately scheduled him to fight Hooker at UFC San Diego this past May following “Hangman’s” win over Paul Felder back in February. Their matchup was iced due to the COVID-19 pandemic and eventually rescheduled for this weekend, giving Poirier another chance to take out one of the division’s best.

“I think the UFC wanted to book me and Dan after his win,” explained Poirier. “We were supposed to do it in San Diego and obviously the pandemic hit and here we are doing it at the APEX in Vegas. I’m just excited that it’s happening.”

Poirier may have just lost his first official UFC title bid to Nurmagomedov less than one year ago but that doesn’t mean “Diamond” still can’t push his way back into contention. In fact, a win over Hooker this weekend sets Poirier up pretty well heading into the second half of 2020, especially since McGregor just announced his retirement earlier this month.

“I just need to perform and win,” said Poirier. “Winning solves everything in this sport and I need to get in there and get my hand raised. Then we’ll reassess the situation of the lightweight division and where everything is at and what could possibly be next. Right now I’m focused on performing Saturday night.”

When pushed a little more for an outlook on his divisional future Poirier claimed that a win over Hooker at UFC on ESPN 12 should land him “one fight away” from another title shot.

Of course, a rematch with McGregor is the first fight that comes to mind in order to solidify “Diamond” as the next title contender at 155 pounds. If McGregor does in fact stay retired then maybe Poirier books a matchup with fellow lightweight contenders Tony Ferguson or Charles Oliveira.

What say you, fight fans? Is Poirier this close to another UFC lightweight title shot?

Sound off!

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC on ESPN 12 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN/ESPN+ “Prelims” undercard bouts at 6 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN/ESPN+ main card start time at 8 p.m. ET.

For complete UFC on ESPN 12 fight card news click here.