Former UFC interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier had an opportunity to fight for the 155-pound title after knocking out Conor McGregor at UFC 257 last January, but instead opted to rematch “Notorious” — and make bank — while Charles Oliveira handled his business opposite Michael Chandler.
Fast-forward to July 2021 and “The Diamond” is once again in line for a lightweight title shot.
But manager Ali Abdelaziz wants Poirier to hit the showers while Justin Gaethje steps in to challenge “Do Bronx.” That might not make much sense since “The Highlight” is coming off a loss to the recently-retired Khabib Nurmagomedov, but when have title shots ever made sense in UFC?
“I believe Justin Gaethje should be fighting Charles Oliveira next,” Abdelaziz told MMA Junkie. “That’s what I believe. Dustin maybe needs to take a break (and) let these two guys handle. I know the UFC wants to make Chandler. I think Mike Chandler doesn’t deserve nothing. He’s 1-1. He was knocked out in Bellator at 145. On paper it’s a great fight, but Mike Chandler doesn’t deserve anything. He needs to be quiet, sit down, and if Justin decides to fight him, he’ll let him know. But Mike Chandler doesn’t deserve anything.”
Chandler was put away by Oliveira at UFC 262 and since both “Iron” and “The Highlight” are coming off losses, there was talk of having them face off later this year. That would leave Poirier — fresh off his latest victory over McGregor — to battle “Do Bronx” and keep the 155-pound assembly line moving.
As for “Notorious,” who recently fell out of the Top 5, he’s likely to be out of action until mid-to-late 2022 after breaking his leg at UFC 264. It would be hard to justify a “Diamond” do-over if Poirier is reigning champion, but a lot can change between now and next summer so all we can do is wait to see how things play out.