Speaking to the media at a backstage scrum during UFC 271 at the Toyota Center, Poirier talked about his desire to fight welterweight star Nate Diaz, a bout that has been discussed on multiple occasions over the past few years. Diaz recently told TMZ that he wants a fight with Poirier to be his retirement fight.
Poirier is confident that a fight with Diaz will happen eventually.
“I think there’s a good chance it’s going to happen,” Poirier said. “I think summer is probably a good target if I were to put one on a calendar, but I’m not sure, but I have a good feeling that it’s going to happen. I’m not sure if I’m going to stay at 170 pounds, but this fight makes sense.
“I just want to be in fights that mean something to me. Nate’s a guy I grew up watching fight, I respect him and his brother, I think that stylistically it’s going to be fun for the fans. This is a Fight of the Year type of fight, and those are the kind of fights I want to be part of.”
Regarding Diaz’s retirement talk, Poirier isn’t convinced that fans have seen the last of the Stockton native, whether they end up fighting or not.
“I don’t believe that,” Poirier said. “Nate, he’s got that dog in him. He’s going to fight forever. We’ll see what happens, but I believe he has a lot of fight left in him, but no telling what his plans are and his exit game or whatever’s going on. I want the fight and I think he wants it as well.”
Back in August 2018, a matchup between Poirier and Diaz was actually announced by the UFC to take place at UFC 230 in November of that year. The booking was mired in drama, however, as Diaz walked out of a press conference ahead of that event and Poirier was later forced to withdraw anyway due to an injury.
Both fighters have mentioned wanting to step into the octagon with one another since then, and for Poirier, it isn’t just that missed opportunity that is motivating him to chase Diaz.
“It’s a combination of everything, but it’s also history,” Poirier said. “I was living at my mother’s house watching this guy fight on The Ultimate Fighter. These are the kinds of fights that mean something to me, and like I said, he’s a pioneer of the sport. Him and his brother have been around forever. When his brother was fighting in PRIDE, I was a fan. This is way before it was even cool, before it was a mainstream sport.
“Nate’s a fighter’s fighter and I love what he brings, the intensity, the fight he brings, and I think with my style, it’s going to be an incredible fight.”
Aside from the Diaz fight, Poirier’s name has also been connected to potential bouts with former teammate Colby Covington and longtime rival McGregor, the latter of whom Poirier defeated twice in 2021.
Poirier said he has no interest in ever fighting Covington due to his personal disdain for him, and while that didn’t stop him from fighting McGregor, he also doubts that they meet for a fourth time.
“Me and Conor have a history,” Poirier said. “Fighting him at ‘45 and bumping up, then bumping up, fighting him seven years later, beating him. Even that fight — I’m probably not going to fight Conor again. I don’t really want to fight Conor again. For me, that door is closed.
“The only reason I’d do it is for money. I beat him two times in a row. Can I best my two performances? Can I knock him out quicker? Can I 10-7 him? What can I do? I’ve done it. If I do it again, it’s just for money, right? So that’s a completely different thing.”