Dustin Poirier Understands Why He Didn’t Get The Call For UFC 249


Former interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier understands why he didn’t get the call to fight Tony Ferguson in the UFC 249 main event.

Last week 155lb king Khabib Nurmagomedov was forced to withdraw from his fight with ‘El Cucuy’ scheduled for April 18. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic, global travel bans and uncertainty about the venue for the event led to the fight falling apart.

Both Poirier and Justin Gaethje expressed an interest in filling in at UFC 249. On paper “The Diamond” should have been favourite to get the fight, considering the fact he holds a TKO win over Gaethje from 2018. However, it was ultimately Gaethje who got the call to fill in and Poirier gets why he was overlooked by the UFC.

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Last time out Poirier fell to a dominant defeat against lightweight champion Nurmagoemdov at UFC 242 in September 2019. If he was to have beaten Tony Ferguson the UFC would have been compelled to make an immediate rematch against Nurmagomedov which no-one is interested in seeing – not yet anyway. Poirier told MMA Junkie this is the reason Gaethje got the call ahead of him, he said.

“I think that’s exactly what it was. Me coming off the loss to Khabib, it’s just a new contender, a guy on a streak, an exciting fight. It’s just what happens. It’s business. I understand it’s a business. I can’t twist their arm and make them do things. Of course I would love to be in there across from Tony, but it’s all good. I’ve just got to fight and win, and everything will resolve itself.”

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Poirier went on to predict his former opponent Gaethje will get the knockout win at UFC 249, he said.

“I think (Gaethje is) going to knock Tony out,” Poirier said. “Both guys on the technical side of it don’t have the most crisp technique when it comes to kickboxing, but they’re both very damaging fighters. They both go in with reckless abandonment of their own self to land the big shots. I just think Gaethje is going to land something big on the inside and hurt Tony, man. I really do. We’ve seen Tony hurt a few times. I just think Gaethje is going to be the one to finish him.”

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Who would you prefer to see fight Tony Ferguson at UFC 249? Dustin Poirier or Justin Gaethje?