Dustin Poirier is here to tell you that if things seemed a little crazy in the making of his scheduled UFC 230 bout with Nate Diaz, well, you should have seen the stuff that went on behind the scenes.
“We don’t even have enough time to talk about all the times it was changed,” Poirier told Luke Thomas on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “The fight was on, it was off, it was just crazy, there was a lot of crazy stuff going on.”
Poirier, who had to withdraw from the bout at Madison Square Garden last week due to a hip injury, says that one thing after another popped up, going back to the infamous August press conference in Los Angeles that Diaz walked out on, and seeming to last right up until Poirier had to pull out of the fight.
From what Poirier termed as Diaz’s constant attempts at changing the fight’s terms, to the UFC’s desperate attempt to find a headline bout for the card, it was just one thing after another.
“They wanted to switch it to five rounds, man, it was just so messed up dude,” Poirier said. “Nate was being hard to deal with, I believe. Every weight class they offered it at 155 and he wanted 160 and I agreed to that. He kind of negotiated himself out of a main-event spot. They offered us the main event, I accepted, Nate over-negotiated, they lost the main event, it was just back-to-back days of him trying to have his way, honestly.
Poirier, for his part, wasn’t going to make pay-per-view points off the fight, regardless of where it was situated on the card. “The Diamond” said he took the fight because of the opportunity it represented, but the more things played out, the more of a hassle it became.
“A lot of these fans are blowing me up on social media saying you blew an opportunity, your big payday and stuff like that, they don’t understand how contracts work,” Poirier said. “I don’t get PPV points to fight Nate Diaz. I don’t know what anyone thinks is going on here, but, I took this fight not because it was a big-money fight, but because it was a big opportunity. It’s a huge headache with all the stuff that he was playing.”
So Poirier goes back to the drawing board. He’s been right on the cusp of a title shot, but with champion Khabib Nurmagomedov facing Nevada Athletic Commission discipline and already angling for a Floyd Mayweather fight, a title fight seems a bit out of reach. Especially when one considers the UFC might want a Nurmagomedov-Conor McGregor rematch simply for the money, and that Tony Ferguson stated his claim as number one contender with his win over Anthony Pettis at UFC 229.
For now, Poirier is willing to let his injured hip heal and see how things play out.
“I have my eyes on everybody man, honestly,” Poirier said. “Like I said after my last fight, I want big fights, my goal is to be the world champion. So whatever fight makes sense. I felt like this Nate fight makes sense. If the UFC can get him to play ball, maybe we’ll do it, if not, we’ll see what shakes out, man and what’s next, but I need big fights.”
And if it turns out that the Diaz fight lines up again, he’s down, even if everything about Diaz has seemed to be a hassle.
“Like I said, so much stuff went on behind the scenes, even if everything went smooth, I’m not sure if this fight would have even went through with this guy,” Poirier opined. “But if the UFC wants it, I’m down. If they can make it happen, I’m down.”