Former interim UFC lightweight champion Dustin Poirier isn’t shying away from the possibility of fighting Justin Gaethje again, even though he admits the match makes him “nervous.”
In fact, Poirier told FanSided MMA’s Amy Kaplan in a recent interview that it’s his nerves that are drawing him to the potential rematch. “The Diamond” and Gaethje fought in 2018 when they were both trying to establish themselves as top-flight contenders. In what turned out to be one of the most exciting fights of the year, the two electric strikers waged war for four rounds until Poirier put Gaethje away via TKO.
Fast forward five years and the two seem to be on a collision course again. Gaethje called out his fellow former interim lightweight champion after he picked up a majority decision win over Rafael Fiziev this past weekend at UFC 286. Poirier is currently ranked No. 2 at 155 pounds whereas Gaethje sits right behind him at No. 3.
The fight makes sense from a rankings standpoint. And considering how fan-friendly the first affair was, Poirier vs. Gaethje 2 makes a lot of sense at this juncture. Well, Poirier told Kaplan that he’s ready to talk with the UFC about the virtually guaranteed firefight.
“It’s a fight that makes me nervous,” Poirier said. “When I hear a name and I get nervous, it’s motivation. You know, those are the kind of fights that [I want]. Same thing with [Michael] Chandler. When I heard Chandler’s name when they called me with Michael Chandler, I was nervous because I knew the dangers of those kind of fights. And that’s what motivates me.
“So, same thing with Justin. If they do call me and he’s the name they say, maybe it happens. We’ll see.”
Porier Said a Summer Fight Would be ‘Ideal,’ Wants UFC to Return to New Orleans
Poirier then called on the promotion to bring an event to New Orleans, Louisiana, that he could potentially headline. “I’ve only fought for the UFC once in New Orleans,” the Lafayette, Louisiana native said. “Last time they were there was in 2015 or 2016. But, I’m a businessman and we’ll see what kind of pay-per-view opportunities we have.”
The Diamond then shared that because of his daughter’s school schedule, making his Octagon return in the summertime would be “ideal.”
“I’m happy but I only fought once last year,” Poirier said. “And I don’t want that to happen again this year. But at the same time, my life’s different now. My daughter’s in first grade. So, a summer fight would be ideal. That way I can bring my family with me for the bulk of training camp. For this last fight with Chandler, we had to split it up. I can’t take my daughter out of school for eight, nine weeks. So, that makes it a little more difficult. But, summer would be good.”
Poirier Got Back Into the Win Column By Submitting Chandler
Poirier vied for the undisputed lightweight strap in December 2021 but was unsuccessful in dethroning Charles Oliveira. The Brazilian submitted him with a rear-naked choke in the third round of their UFC 269 clash.
The Diamond returned at UFC 281 in November against Chandler. Poirier came out on top of his “Fight of the Night” contest with “Iron” via third-round rear-naked choke.