Poirier’s enthusiastic push for a long-desired meeting in the Octagon with Diaz comes just days out from his second failed attempt at reaching the lightweight mountaintop. Having previously fallen short against the great Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2019, Poirier’s second opportunity to culminate his inspirational journey arrived at UFC 269 last weekend.
Unlike his clash with “The Eagle,” the Louisianan challenged champion Charles Oliveira as the favorite. Nevertheless, the Brazilian’s story of upsetting the odds entered another chapter, as he submitted Poirier in the third round with a rear-naked choke, a painfully similar scenario for the #2-ranked lightweight contender.
Following the loss, Poirier made an appearance on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour. The 32-year-old was initially emotional and distraught about the defeat and couldn’t even confirm if he’d fight again.
But when the direction steered towards an opponent that could re-motivate him, Poirier appeared to find a new lease of Octagon life when the thought of facing fan-favorite Diaz arrived in his head. After suggesting he may never make the cut to 155 pounds again, Poirier named the veteran Stockton brawler as the one name that would get him excited to compete again.
“When I’ve been lying down, thinking about fights, nothing gets me excited—unless Nate Diaz wants to fight. If he wants to fight, that gets me excited.”
An Immediate Rebound Opportunity For Poirier?
The change in Poirier’s tone when a potential Diaz clash came up was noticeable, and the former interim titleholder wasted no time in doubling down on his willingness for a quick turnaround against the 36-year-old.
Taking to Twitter, Poirier still had Diaz’s name on his mind in the hours after his initial comments.
It didn’t take long for Diaz to react to Poirier’s interview, and he did so with an even better response than fans would have hoped for. Not only did he accept the challenge, but The Ultimate Fighter 5 winner proposed they throw down next month.
“I’ll fight Dp in January don’t be a scared lil bitch this time now or never.”
If the fight comes together, it will be one that is three years in the making, and with a built-in backstory. The pair were originally set to collide at UFC 230 in 2018. The bout fell through at late notice, however. While the pair have continued to exchange words since, it appeared their chance to settle their differences in the Octagon had passed.
But with the fight well and truly back on the radar, it seems fans may not have to wait long for the feud to reach the cage. Following Diaz’s response, Poirier went one better, suggesting he’d even fight him this month, a statement of intent the Stockton native wasn’t entertaining.
“I’ll fight you this month,” Poirier wrote. Doubting that, Diaz responded, “Ur full of shit.”
Fighters expressing their willingness to face each other on social media is nothing new, and the genuine nature of the exchanges is often hard to see. However, that doesn’t appear to be the case here. Ariel Helwani confirmed as much following their posts on social media.
Taking to his own Twitter account, the renowned MMA journalist claimed both men are “legitimately serious” about facing each other in January.
“Both @NateDiaz209 and @DustinPoirier are legitimately serious about fighting each other next month, I’m told. Both would accept the fight right away for January.”
With Dustin Poirier’s desire to mount another challenge looking distant at the moment and his interest in a move up to welterweight made clear in previous interviews, it seems like the right time for “The Diamond” to test the waters at 170 pounds. And what better first challenge than a blockbuster matchup against former rival and always-entertaining slugger Nate Diaz?
How do you think a welterweight fight between Dustin Poirier and Nate Diaz would play out?