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UFC 257: Dustin Poirier wants ticket to lightweight title shot (not payback) against Conor McGregor

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UFC 178 Weigh-in Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier understands that if he walks into the UFC 257 pay-per-view (PPV) main event on Jan. 23 in Abu Dhabi and steamrolls Conor McGregor, the promotion will have little choice but to grant him the next 155-pound title shot.

That’s why “The Diamond” is focusing on winning and not on getting his revenge.

“This isn’t about payback,” Poirier said on This Past Weekend with Theo Von (transcribed by Tom Taylor). “This isn’t a revenge fight for me. Of course those things are great. I go out there and beat him, those are all part of this storyline, things I’m going to think about and be happy with, but that’s not the driving force of each day. I’m driven by the main goal: becoming the world champion, being the best.”

That may depend on the future of current champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

McGregor stopped Poirier in their first meeting at UFC 178 back in 2014 when both combatants were up-and-coming featherweights, but so much has changed between then and now. And “The Diamond” may need a “Notorious” victory to get him out of the “honorable mentions” and into the pantheon of heroes.

Especially after this high-profile defeat.

“It’s so much history involved in this fight,” Poirier continued. “The full circle, fighting him again now, becoming the interim champ, switching weight classes. So much going into this that I know what a win does not only for me and for my legacy, but for my family, their future financially. I know what comes with a win, and I’m ready to bear that weight at this point in my career.”

The weight of a “stone-cold killer.”