Dustin Poirier punched his way back into the lightweight title picture with a commanding performance against Dan Hooker in last month’s “Fight of the Night” affair on ESPN, catapulting himself into the No. 2 spot behind Justin Gaethje.
With “The Highlight” next in line to battle reigning 155-pound champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 253, Poirier will have to weigh his options moving forward. But it sounds like “The Diamond” isn’t ready to close the book on his “Eagle” rivalry just yet.
His loss to McGregor, however, is ancient history.
“If the belts weren’t on the line, just for my legacy, I would love to beat Khabib,” Poirier told MMA Junkie. “Nobody’s ever beat him. Nobody’s ever climbed that mountain. I would love to be the first one. That’s historic. That’s legendary. That’s the stuff I’m out to do. I’m not out for rematches and grudge matches and revenge. I’m a grown man, I don’t hold that stuff in my heart. I have a family and this is a business to me.”
Poirier (26-6, 1 NC) was stopped by McGregor (22-4) at the UFC 178 pay-per-view (PPV) event roughly six years back when both combatants were rising up the featherweight ranks. “The Diamond” eventually moved up to lightweight — as did “Notorious” — and put together a sensational 10-2 record with six nasty finishes.
The second of those two losses came to Nurmagomedov (28-0) at UFC 242.
It sounds like Poirier is making the lightweight title his first priority and a win for Gaethje would likely prove to be a favorable scenario. “The Diamond” erased “The Highlight” by way of technical knockout back in early 2018.