Dustin Poirier has claimed that throughout his entire Octagon tenure, he always hoped to one day score a showdown with now-promotional alum, Nate Diaz – in the wake of the latter’s departure from the UFC last year.
Poirier, a former interim lightweight champion, most recently featured on the main card of UFC 281 back in November of last year in Madison Square Garden, submitting former title challenger, Michael Chandler with a third round rear-naked choke in New York.
As for Diaz, The Ultimate Fighter 5 winner most recently headlined UFC 279 last September in his final contracted fight with the organization, bowing out in the winner’s enclosure with a fourth round guillotine choke submission win over former interim champion, Tony Ferguson.
Dustin Poirier rues missed fight with Nate Diaz during UFC tenure
Departing the promotion in the following months, Diaz has since been booked to make a professional boxing debut against outspoken Ohio native, Jake Paul – with the duo slated to headline a pay-per-view event in August in Dallas, Texas.
Sharing his thoughts on Diaz’s chances against professional boxer, Paul, Lafayette native, Dustin Poirier expects the Stockton fan-favorite to likely struggle.
“Man, Jake’s (Paul) younger, bigger, faster – it’s not an easy fight,” Dustin Poirier told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “Just because Nate’s (Diaz) a grizzled veteran with the right experience, and Jake’s a new guy who’s on YouTube – he’s got the money and the amenities to surround himself with the best people and dedicate himself to fighting, and he’s younger and more explosive. And I think Diaz’s boxing is good for MMA – it’s a completely different thing. It’s a completely different thing.”
Seeing a planned UFC 230 fight with Diaz fall to the wayside ahead of an earmarked November 2018 clash, Poirier also failed to secure a grudge match with the veteran last year to boot, before eventually facing and submitting Chandler toward the end of the year.
“Of course, I always wanted to fight him (Nate Diaz),” Dustin Poirier said of the scuppered clash. “Look, I want everybody to be paid and to succeed. Whether it’s in this organization or that, I don’t care, we’re putting it all on the line out there. So I hope he got whatever he was looking for. I hope it all works out. I hope he gets paid. Never say never. But it looks like it’s gone.”
Later this summer, Poirier is slated to headline UFC 291 in July — taking on former opponent, Justin Gaethje in a lightweight rematch with BMF championship spoils on the line.