Dustin Poirier pulled off a massive upset on Saturday night at UFC 257 when he finished Conor McGregor in the second round of their rematch bout, making him the first person to ever TKO the Irish superstar.
The win puts him in a pretty great position: UFC president Dana White has already confirmed he could fight for the UFC lightweight title next. There’s also a big money rematch with Conor McGregor, should he prefer that option. And then there’s Nate Diaz, who Poirier included in the list of guys he’d like to punch in the face.
“A rematch with Conor interests me,” he said at the UFC 257 post fight press conference. “Always wanted to whup Nate Diaz’s ass. That interests me. I’m sure something will make sense but just right now I don’t know. Me and Conor are 1-1. Nate Diaz likes to talk a lot of s**t online. But I just got to go home and we’ll see.”
After years of fighting for peanuts headlining UFC Fight Night cards, Nate Diaz has become the king of sitting on the sidelines until proper big money fights materialize. And this is a proper big money fight. After throwing some weak shade at the guys actually getting into the cage and risking everything, Nate gave us something juicy: a fight challenge.
These guys all get finished all the time ♂️— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) January 24, 2021
I’m training to whoop ur ass next.— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) January 24, 2021
Be about it don’t talk about it pic.twitter.com/M7FKHvIbFu
Don’t forget that Dustin and Nate have history: they almost headlined the UFC’s 2018 event at Madison Square Garden in New York City before a Poirier hip injury derailed the whole thing. Not that the fight was ever signed and sealed to begin with.
“They wanted to switch it to five rounds, man, it was just so messed up dude,” Poirier told the MMA Hour shortly after the debacle. “Nate was being hard to deal with, I believe. Every weight class they offered it at 155 and he wanted 160 and I agreed to that. He kind of negotiated himself out of a main-event spot. They offered us the main event, I accepted, Nate over-negotiated, they lost the main event, it was just back-to-back days of him trying to have his way, honestly.”
“A lot of these fans are blowing me up on social media saying you blew an opportunity, your big payday and stuff like that, they don’t understand how contracts work,” Poirier said. “I don’t get PPV points to fight Nate Diaz. I don’t know what anyone thinks is going on here, but, I took this fight not because it was a big-money fight, but because it was a big opportunity. It’s a huge headache with all the stuff that he was playing.”
If anyone knows about losing the war it's you... you've lost half of them that you been in. https://t.co/ovrDu6JkVF— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) October 15, 2018
The good news: Poirier made PPV points on the Conor McGregor fight, and he’s definitely going to make PPV points on the Nate Diaz fight (as will Nate). The only thing he’s unlikely to get if he decides to take Nate up on his offer to scrap? The UFC lightweight title, which probably isn’t going to get thrown into the mix given Nate’s recent record and inactivity at 155.
These are the interesting times we live in now, where despite the UFC’s best efforts there are now fights bigger than the belt out there. Poirier vs. Diaz is definitely one of those. So what’s it going to be, Dustin? A Diaz fight? A McGregor rematch? Or a fight for the title?