Dustin Poirier’s ultimate goal is to be the undisputed UFC lightweight champion, but he wants to earn his second shot at gold.
Poirier (26-6 MMA, 18-5 UFC), the former interim champ, fell short in his attempt to unify the titles against champion Khabib Nurmagomedov last September, but he hasn’t given up on his title aspirations.
Poirier rebounded with an impressive win over Dan Hooker last weekend at UFC on ESPN 12 and is still very much in the title picture.
Nurmagomedov is expected to face current interim champ Justin Gaethje sometime in the fall in a matchup that Poirier will definitely have his eye on. Poirier is the last man to defeat Gaethje and shared the octagon with Nurmagomedov less than a year ago. But he revealed he isn’t interested in stepping in on short notice should one of those fighters fail to make it to their scheduled unification fight.
Instead, Poirier is looking at earning his shot with a win over one of the other top contenders in the 155-pound division. Whether he has to fight the likes of Tony Ferguson or Nate Diaz next or just wait for his shot, Poirier wants to be pegged as the rightful No. 1 contender.
“I’m interested in all those fights,” Poirier told MMA Junkie on Wednesday. “I’d like to fight all those guys. It just has to be the right time and the right scenario, and we’ll make it happen. But my goal before I’m done fighting is to be the undisputed world champion. So (I’ll do) whatever I need to do to make that happen. If that’s sit out and wait for this fight – nobody’s told me I’m next, so I’m not sure exactly what the UFC’s plan is. But if it’s not a title fight, it’s gotta be a big one.
“It’s a tough one. I don’t want to slide in. I want to be picked because of what I’ve done. I want to have a proper training camp. I don’t want to slide in when somebody stubs their toe. I want to earn it, so we’ll see what’s next. I don’t want to look too far. I’ll wait on the UFC to call me.”
Poirier has been in his fair share of wars during his recent career and is looking to take some time off to fully heal from the bumps and bruises sustained during his hard-fought battle with Hooker. “The Diamond” admitted he’s unsure what’s next, but all he knows is that he’d like the matchup to be worth his while.
“I just want big fights, and I wanna be paid for them,” Poirier said. “So I just want big fights and money. I want to be undisputed world champion, but I’m not pressing, I’m not pushing for other fights right now. I’m just gonna sit back, heal up, see what the UFC wants to do, and we’ll take the next step. But I think I’ve paid my dues and earned my shot at a big fight.”