Poirier seemingly secured his place opposite the UFC Lightweight Champion inside the Octagon with a second victory this year over Conor McGregor at UFC 264. In the headlining fight of one of the biggest UFC events of the year so far, the two 155-pound stars looked set to conclude their heated rivalry with a memorable trilogy fight. But the ending to the bout has certainly left the door open for a fourth meeting.
With seconds remaining of the opening round, McGregor stepped back and suffered a horrific broken leg that signaled the end of the main event. It was a shame for such a great card to end in yet another horrendous injury. With Chris Weidman’s broken leg, Jacare Souza’s broken arm, Jamahal Hill’s dislocated elbow and now McGregor’s break, the return of fans in 2021 seems to have brought with it an injury curse.
But despite the method of victory, Poirier looked dominant for much of the round and didn’t look far from a finish. After arguably securing a 10-8 in what is historically the Irishman’s strongest five minutes, “The Diamond” certainly did enough to secure a title shot next time out.
Ahead of his likely championship fight with “Do Bronx,” Dustin Poirier has opened as the betting favorite according to the sportsbooks. In early odds released by BetOnline.ag, the former interim 155-pound champ sits at -180, with Oliveira expected to face an uphill struggle as a +155 underdog.
This makes a change for the current champ, who was a narrow favorite heading into his fight against Michael Chandler. The Brazilian finally won UFC gold after over a decade of Octagon walks when he finished the former Bellator star in the second round of their UFC 262 headliner.
Having pulled off a comeback against the relative UFC newcomer, Oliveira is now expected to face a 26-fight promotional veteran who is the #1-ranked lightweight in the promotion.
With Dana White confirming Poirier’s place as Oliveira’s first title defense, the pair are expected to go head-to-head later this year. In an interview with UFC reporter Megan Olivi at the culmination of Saturday’s main event, Oliveira gave his thoughts on a matchup with “The Diamond.”
“Actually this is a fight (Dustin Poirier) that I thought was going to happen. It was supposed to happen for a long time so if it happens… I am ready to go!” he said. (h/t BJPenn.com)
Do you think Dustin Poirier can dethrone Charles Oliveira?