When Dustin Poirier finally makes his return to action, he’s looking for the biggest and best fights available.
Initially targeted for a showdown with Dan Hooker at UFC San Diego, the former interim lightweight champion saw that fight fall by the wayside due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that put all events on hold indefinitely.
While he’s certainly still open to that fight, Poirier would be remiss if he didn’t try to jump on an even bigger opportunity. One name near the top of that wishlist is former two-division champion Conor McGregor, who previously defeated Poirier when they were both competing at featherweight.
Poirier has called for the McGregor rematch several times in the past. But it’s not as much about revenge as it is getting a higher-ranked opponent who can bring him closer to his ultimate goal of fighting again for the UFC lightweight title.
“Of course I’d rather have that,” Poirier responded to MMA Fighting when asked about the McGregor fight. “Like I said, I want the biggest and the highest ranked guys that I can get. Yeah, I’m not circling back around to these guys or begging for fights.
“I’ll fight Dan Hooker no problem, but my job is to get the biggest fights, the most money, get the highest ranked opponents that I can get. So whenever I see people and opportunities that make sense, like me and Conor, of course I would push for that.”
McGregor has said he wants to keep an active schedule in 2020 after storming through Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone earlier this year at UFC 246. The ongoing pandemic has slowed down the entire UFC schedule, but with reigning lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov likely out until September, McGregor needs somebody else to fight.
Poirier is more than happy to volunteer his services.
“It just depends on what the UFC has in mind and Conor’s timeframe when he wants to fight,” Poirier said. “A lot of factors play into all this decision making. But I’m definitely open to the fight.”
Even though his longterm goals are at lightweight, Poirier would be willing to go up a weight class for the chance to face McGregor — or even challenge him in a different sport.
“I’d love it at welterweight,” Poirier said. “I’d love it in a boxing ring. I’d love it in MMA. I’ll take it at 185 [pounds], I don’t care. I just want the biggest fights that I can get, and that’s definitely one of them.”
McGregor has dabbled in boxing previously with his 2017 match against Floyd Mayweather, and he’s constantly teased a potential return to the ring in the future.
While UFC president Dana White has pumped the brakes on a crossover into boxing promotion, Poirier sees that as a great option to make some really fun fights as well.
“I’d love to box Nate Diaz or McGregor in the Octagon, or in the boxing ring,” Poirier said.