Former lightweight title challenger Al Iaquinta has blasted Dustin Poirier for his handling of the ongoing negotiations for an eagerly-anticipated rematch with UFC superstar Conor McGregor.

Poirier and McGregor have verbally agreed to rematch on January 23, 2021. Prior to that both men also agreed to fight for charity, without UFC involvement. ‘Notorious’ even offer to donate $500,000 to Poirier’s charity, The Good Fight Foundation, and to fly ‘The Diamond’ out to Ireland for the exhibition bout.

Iaquinta told ESPN that Poirier has shown weakness ahead of his rematch against McGregor and for that reason says there’s no way the former interim champion will beat McGregor when they finally fight for a second time.

“What is that guy doing?” Iaquinta asked. “What is he, Conor’s fan? He’s like a fan fighting Conor. It’s so cringey. Conor’s like, ‘I’ll fly you over, and I’ll donate my money to your charity.’ I’d be like, ‘Bro, I’ll fly my (expletive) self over and when I beat the (expletive) out of you, I’ll donate my own money. What is this? Kumbaya? Like what the hell. Are you kidding? He’s lost the fight already.

“If the fight happens, there’s not a doubt in my mind Dustin’s losing that fight. He’s already (conceded) in everything. He’s like, ‘Thank you for the fight. We’ll fight in Ireland or wherever, and thank you, we’ll fight for charity, it’ll be great.’ It’s like, dude, get out of here. This is a fight. What? Are you freakin’ kidding me? You’re gonna thank the guy? You think Conor is really gonna – this is for him, this is not for you, Dustin. Relax, bro.” (Transcribed by MMA Junkie)

Iaquinta has been out of the Octagon for more than a year. The straight-talking New Yorker is currently on a two-fight losing skid after suffering decision defeats to Dan Hooker and Donald Cerrone. Prior to that, he eased by Kevin Lee to rebound from his short-notice lightweight title fight loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223.

Do you agree with Al Iaquinta? Has Dustin Poirier shown weakness during negotiations for a fight with Conor McGregor?

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A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.