Pundit Sympathizes With Dustin Poirier After UFC Fight Announcement

Dustin Poirier

Getty Dustin Poirier

Top-ranked UFC lightweight Dustin Poirier had been linked to a potential scrap with Nate Diaz for months, however the fight isn’t happening next for “The Diamond.” And MMA pundit Ariel Helwani feels for Poirier.

On Tuesday, ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported that the UFC is working to finalize a bout between Diaz and No. 3-ranked welterweight Khamzat Chimaev for UFC 279 on September 10 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The promotion’s chief business officer, Hunter Campbell, told the journalist that both combatants have verbally agreed and the match would be a five-round main event.

For Poirier, he hasn’t competed since his loss to Charles Oliveira in December at UFC 269, and he’s been campaigning for a fight with Diaz since. At one point, even UFC president Dana White said that he would “do it” in regards to booking the fight.

But in April, White said they were moving on from the prospect of Diaz vs. Poirier. Regardless, Helwani wrote on Twitter after the Chimaev/Diaz news broke that he sympathized with The Diamond.

“Have to say, I really feel for Dustin Poirier in all this,” Helwani tweeted. “He was strung along for months by the org. He would have likely been the Diaz opponent if Diaz re-signed but Diaz didn’t and now he doesn’t have a fight. He’s been ready to go for months … and nada.”

Helwani Called for Poirier vs. Michael Chandler Next

Helwani then suggested that the promotion books Poirier against Michael Chandler next. “Gotta do Poirier x Chandler, IMO,” he wrote. “Biggest fight for both now.”

Earlier this month at UFC 276, Poirier and Chandler got into a verbal altercation while spectating the event. Poirier is ranked No. 2 in the lightweight division and Chandler is sitting at No. 5, as per the official UFC standings.

Poirier spoke with Helwani on “The MMA Hour” in May after Chandler picked up a KO win over Tony Ferguson at UFC 274. Although Poirier had shown disinterest in fighting “Iron” in the past, he changed his tune, prioritizing getting a fight over being selective.

In the interview, The Diamond also pointed to Chandler’s 2-2 UFC record, stating that Chandler had never defeated an athlete inside the Octagon who was coming off a win.

“He’s never beaten anybody coming off of a win in the UFC!” Poirier said via MMA Fighting. “He’s been dropped in his last three fights, he’s never beat somebody coming off of a win. What are Dan Hooker’s last five fights and what are Tony Ferguson’s last five fights, the two guys he beat in the UFC?

What are their records in their last fights? And I’m not talking trash, I’m stating facts. It’s whatever, I’ll fight him too. I don’t care anymore, just book me something.”

Poirier Loss Out on UFC Gold for a Second Time

The Diamond entered the cage in December in hopes to secure undisputed UFC gold for the first time. He had earned the interim lightweight title in 2019 but lost the unification bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov later that year.

After rattling off the victories in a row, Poirier received his second shot at the title but was taken out by Oliveira via third via third-round rear-naked choke.

Should Poirier defeat Chandler next, he’ll potentially line himself up as the next lightweight championship contender.

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