Saturday, May 28, 2022

Makhachev: Poirier Knows He Won’t Be Champion, Only Wants Money

UFC lightweight Islam Makhachev has concluded that Dustin Poirier has given up on a championship legacy and is now solely pursuing cash.

Dustin Poirier’s 11-year WEC/UFC journey culminated at the year-ending pay-per-view of 2021 when “The Diamond” made his reach for some precious gold. Instead of having the lightweight belt in his residence to polish, Poirier is possibly looking for a new division to call home after losing his bid for the lightweight championship at UFC 269.

Charles Oliveira defeated Poirier by rear-naked-choke, the same method of defeat the Louisianan succumbed to in his first title shot against Khabib Nurmagomedov two years prior.

UFC 242 results: Khabib Nurmagomedov submits Dustin Poirier to retain
Image Credit: Per Haljestam

Following the loss to Oliveira, some have questioned if Poirier is the same fighter who had always wanted to become world champion. Among them was former opponent Justin Gaethje, who wondered if the payouts from the McGregor fights impacted Poirier’s competitive hunger.

Meanwhile, heading into year 12 of his WEC/UFC tenure, Poirier has handled the loss by openly contemplating and subtly hinting at making a move up to the welterweight division, beginning with a desired fight against Nate Diaz in the weight class.

Makhachev Believes Poirier’s Potential Division Change Inspired By Money

Islam Makhachev
Islam Makhachev, Image Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

If Poirier decides to make that plunge into the welterweight division, it could be viewed as a fresh start for the former interim lightweight champion. There are fresh opponents and opportunities that could await him at 170.

However, surging lightweight contender Islam Makhachev seems to think that this potential move would have nothing to do with any pursuit of gold, greatness, or glory—just green (h/t Sportskeeda).

“I think he just wanna make money,” Makhachev said of Poirier in an interview with Red Corner MMA. “He knows he’s not gonna be champion no more. That’s why he’s thinking about money now. He just wanna choose weight in where he can make more money. This is my opinion.”

After losing to Khabib at UFC 242, Poirier was able to pull himself back up by the bootstraps as he has become accustomed to doing, and he defeated Dan Hooker via unanimous decision in June 2020. Then, after defeating Conor McGregor at UFC 257, Poirier could have fought against Oliveira for the vacant lightweight championship in his next fight.

Instead, Poirier opted to fight McGregor again in a trilogy bout at UFC 264. Oliveira would go on to defeat Chandler via TKO last May while Poirier made his trilogy scorecard with McGregor 2-1 in his favor.

There were some fans who criticized Poirier’s decision to fight McGregor again instead of first challenging for the title. Even McGregor himself took a jab at his rival for choosing the money fight over a title shot, implying that Poirier is beholden to him. And after Poirier fell to Oliveira at UFC 269, Khabib Nurmagomedov, like his protégé Mkahachev, suggested that deep down, Poirier’s hunger to be the champion has been watered down by his recent cash flow.

If Dustin Poirier does decide to move up to welterweight, do you believe it’s just because of the money?

Related Articles
Related Articles