Dustin Poirier On Al Iaquinta’s Call Out, Nate Diaz And Khabib vs Tony
Dustin Poirier is set to return to the Octagon in the next few months, having not fought since UFC 242. And with his return imminent, the conversation of his next opponent is hotting up. One man who looks to be out of equation is Nate Diaz. While one man who could very well be ‘The Diamond’s’ next opponent is Al Iaquinta.
Poirier and Nate were scheduled to fight just over a year ago at UFC 230 but the fight fell through. While a neck injury to Dustin was the reason given at the time for the bout being cancelled, the 31 year old has since blamed Diaz.
In recent months however, Poirier has been calling out Nate.
“Obviously I was trying to get the Nate fight for a while, but we’ve recently decided to leave that alone. He’s not fighting. I spoke with Mick [Maynard] and Sean [Shelby] when I was in Houston for [UFC 247]. They told me they offered him a fight and I recently spoke again to Sean and he told me it’s time to move on. They said the Diaz camp isn’t responding. I don’t want to keep chasing that guy. If he’s not taking fights then I have to move on.”
While Nate Diaz may be ruled out, if Al Iaquinta gets his way, he will be the man to welcome Poirier back to the Octagon, after he had surgery on his hip, following his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242.
Also speaking to Ariel Helwani on Monday, Al Iaquinta called out Dustin Poirier, saying that he’s spoken to the UFC about making the fight.
“He doesn’t have a fight coming up, that’s the fight,” Iaquinta stated. “The UFC just has to call him. I am pretty sure…I called Hunter [Campbell], I texted Sean Shelby and said that’s the fight. I am pretty sure, I don’t know, maybe they didn’t offer it to him. But if they did, he turned it down. So either way, the offer is extended now. And that’s it, I think it’s a good fight.
“He’s got nothing coming up and he thinks his stock is a lot higher than it really is. He got choked out, would’ve been unconscious but he tapped before the deed could be done. Whatever, I think that’s the fight that needs to be made.”
Iaquinta’s call out of Poirier then resulted in the two UFC lightweight contenders trading several blows on social media.
Of course, the man that made Poirier tap inside the Octagon was Khabib, who defends his UFC lightweight title against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249. Whilst speaking to Helwani, ‘The Diamond’ gave his prediction for the title fight.
“It’s MMA. Anything can happen. Nothing’s for sure. But I just think he’s (Khabib) going to be the better competitor. If Kevin Lee was able to outwrestle Tony, and I think Danny Castillo did the same thing, Khabib’s definitely going to be able to do it.”
But while he doesn’t foresee Ferguson giving Khabib any serious trouble, Poirier believes that Justin Gaethje could give the champion some problems.
“He might have the ability to keep his back off the fence and keep it in the middle and, if he does get taken down, scramble back up. I think guys like that, who are going to take risks and brawl and have the hips and wrestling knowledge to stay up, will give him problems.”
Who would you like to see Dustin Poirier return to the UFC Octagon against?