Dustin Poirier is on the verge of challenging for the UFC lightweight title, after earning a second-straight victory over Conor McGregor at UFC 264. But he’s already thinking about his future opponents at 155 pounds and recently tabbed Khabib Nurmagomedov‘s protege, Islam Makhachev as the toughest potential fight for him in the lightweight division.
Poirier has made the rounds through the media recently and is still expecting a fight with UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira to be announced at a later date. But he’s also not ruling a potential fight at welterweight against his longtime rival, Nate Diaz in a more fan-friendly bout. Poirier’s stock has risen after his wins over McGregor, as McGregor is in the middle of recovery from a broken leg he suffered in the trilogy.
During a recent Q+A session with ESPN’s Laura Sanko, Poirier pointed to another opponent as a tough future challenge; Makhachev.
“For a few years now, I think 155 has been one of, if not the toughest, division in the UFC,” Poirier said. “It’s been top-heavy for a lot of years, with a lot of contenders waiting for their shot.”
“But right off the top, I don’t really know. I think Khabib would, but he’s not in the mix right now. Maybe Islam (Makhachev) – similar style.”
Poirier fought against Makhachev’s teammate, Nurmagomedov at UFC 242, losing in the lightweight title unification bout by submission in the third round. Poirier hasn’t lost a fight since, with a back-and-forth war with Dan Hooker before the back-to-back fights with McGregor.
Makhachev continues his rise through the UFC’s lightweight division at a spectacular rate, winning eight straight fights and scheduled to face former lightweight champion, Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 267. If he can beat dos Anjos, Makhachev could be the next in line for a title shot, depending on what happens between Oliveira/Poirier.
What would happen in a fight between Dustin Poirier and Islam Makhachev?