Dustin Poirier Says UFC 223 Main Event Didn’t Feel Like Championship Fight

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Dustin Poirier
Image Credit: Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Khabib Nurmagomedov is the undisputed Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight title holder, but Dustin Poirier feels something is off.

Poirier will compete this Saturday night (April 14) in the main event of UFC Glendale. “The Diamond” will take on Justin Gaethje inside the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona. The winner could find himself in line for a title shot, or a number one contender bout.

At UFC 223, Nurmagomedov defeated Al Iaquinta via unanimous decision to capture 155-pound gold. When Tony Ferguson and Max Holloway fell through, it was Iaquinta who stepped up. He fought hard, but ultimately had no answer for Nurmagomedov’s game.

During a recent media session, Poirier talked about the lightweight title picture. He admitted that he feels something is off about the undisputed championship (via MMAJunkie.com):

“He is the champion; he has the belt. But I don’t feel that was a championship fight. Nothing against either guy. Khabib was on the way and earned himself the spot to get that title shot. But that fight, to me, didn’t feel like a title fight.”

Poirier has gone 2-0, 1 NC in his last three outings. He currently sits at the fifth spot on the official UFC lightweight rankings. Gaethje is just below him at the sixth position. “The Diamond” hasn’t lost a bout since Sept. 2016.

As for Gaethje, he suffered the first loss of his career after being knocked out by Eddie Alvarez. Prior to that bout, he had gone 18-0. The former World Series of Fighting lightweight champion seeks gold again, but he must get past Poirier to speed up the process.

MMANews.com will provide live coverage of UFC Glendale. We’ll be posting predictions, results, highlights, the post-fight press conference and more. Be sure to join us this weekend.

Do you agree with Dustin Poirier? Did UFC 223’s main event not feel like a title fight?

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