A surprise fight announcement in the middle of the night has MMA fans, fighters and media alike buzzing with anticipation. Out of nowhere, it was confirmed that the co-main event of UFC 230, which goes down Saturday, November 3 at Madison Square Gardens in New York City, will be an exciting lightweight bout between top contender Dustin Poirier and Nate Diaz. News of the bout has been extremely well received by the public, as the bout features one of the most exciting action fighters in MMA right now in Poirier and one of MMA’s all-time greatest heels in Diaz. The fight itself has the potential to be something special, as does the buildup to the fight as far as promotion goes. This is UFC matchmaking at its best.
Poirier is coming off of an absolutely brutal knockout win over Eddie Alvarez which cemented his spot as the lightweight division’s No. 1 contender. Poirier is 8-1, 1 NC since moving down to 155lbs and he is undefeated over his last five fights, with his last three wins coming via TKO. He has earned the opportunity to fight for the UFC lightweight strap, but there’s one problem: Conor McGregor is coming back, and he automatically gets the title shot against UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. With McGregor and Nurmagomedov expected to fight this fall, Poirier needed a fight to keep busy, because if he waited for the winner of the title fight he could be sitting out another year. The UFC was rumored to book Poirier against Tony Ferguson, but instead settled on Diaz. This is a better matchup for Poirier, and one that he deserves. He has done everything asked of him since moving down to lightweight and has made the necessary improvements to be called a legitimate title contender, just that there’s bad timing for him with McGregor coming back. Instead, Poirier is landing a money fight against Diaz, and you have to feel good for him.
For Diaz, he’s finally coming back from a two-plus year layoff but he remains one of the sport’s top draws. Diaz’ two fights against McGregor were pay-per-view blockbusters and while this fight against Poirier isn’t a main event, it’s still a fight that the fans want to see. For Diaz, he kept turning down opponents the last two years in hope of a trilogy fight with McGregor, but that was never happening so soon. With Diaz coming back to fight Poirier, it’s a great situation for him. Even though he hasn’t fought in two years, he’s going to walk back into the Octagon and he lands a huge fight against one of the hottest fighters in the sport in Poirier. Yes, it’s not a third McGregor fight, but this is still a really good matchup for Diaz in his return and he can’t ask for much more from the UFC. If Diaz goes out there and beats Poirier, he would immediately throw his name into the title mix at 155lbs and potentially get a shot at the winner of Nurmagomedov and McGregor. This big fight against Poirier at UFC 230 is a great situation for Diaz to walk into after such a long time away.
For the fans, this promises to be an amazing fight as both Poirier and Diaz are always involved in crazy bouts and this should be no different. For the UFC, it’s a huge co-main event for UFC 230 and will undoubtedly sell some extra PPV buys for the company. For Diaz and Poirier, it’s an amazing opportunity for them to fight each other and make a lot of money doing so. This is just UFC matchmaking at its finest and it’s one of the few fights where everyone is in agreement this is a tremendous matchup. It’s a fight that makes sense on almost every level. It’s a fight between two warriors that is likely going to be one of the most exciting bouts we see all year long. Stylistically it’s an intriguing matchup between two tremendous boxers and submission artists. And it’s a fight that has huge stakes about it as the winner could very well get a title shot. All the way around, it’s just a perfect matchup, and as much as the UFC should be criticized for some of its decisions, this is one where the promotion deserves nothing but praise.
Do you like the booking of Dustin Poirier vs. Nate Diaz?