Dustin Poirier will be the next man up to face Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Poirier solidified his position by defeating Max Holloway for the interim 155-pound title at UFC 236. Now, “The Diamond” will attempt to become the first man to beat Khabib in mixed martial arts (MMA) competition. Early rumors suggest the UFC is eying a Khabib vs. Poirier for September on pay-per-view in Abu Dhabi.
Recently, Khabib was asked about the potential match-up during an interview with Megan Olivi after UFC St. Petersburg. “The Eagle,” said he needs to “maul” Poirier when they share the Octagon in September. In response, Poirier tells MMA Weekly those comments mean nothing to him:
“This is fighting. I’m going to try to hurt him for 25 minutes. I’m going to try to stop his body from working,” Poirier said. “That means nothing saying ‘I’m going to maul him’.
“You’re supposed to. I expect the same from him when I say I’m going to hurt him, I expect the same that he’s going to try to hurt me and take me out. That’s what fighting is. We’re not in there playing tennis.
“What can a guy say at this point? 40 fights into this crazy thing called mixed martial arts, I don’t care anymore. None of that bothers me anymore.”
Hoping For September
Poirier admits that the UFC has yet to lock down a date for the fight, but hopes the rumored September date gets the nod:
“That’s exactly what I want,” Poirier said. “Just that. I want to spend a couple months at home training, helping out local guys, friends of mine who fight professionally here in Louisiana.
“Maybe I’ll take a couple weekend trips up to Florida just to work on some stuff. But I’d really like to lock in July sometime, head up to Florida for the long haul for another camp. We’ll see. This is a crazy sport. Nothing’s certain.
“I don’t know what month we’re going to fight. I’m hoping that’s the next fight. Dana [White] said it is. Khabib [Nurmagomedov] said it is so that’s what I’m expecting.”