Anyone with half a brain would tell you that Dustin Poirier vs. Nate Diaz is a one-fight banger, and that the UFC should have booked him when he got the chance for Diaz’s last fight with the promotion at UFC 279 in September 2022.
Instead, the UFC attempted to bury Diaz on the way out, pitting him against Khamzat Chimaev. That plan went completely awry after Chimaev botched his weight cut and showed 7.5 pounds over the welterweight limit, forcing a complete last-minute pay-per-view (PPV) shakeup.
Diaz ended up fighting Tony Ferguson, which was cool and all…but what we should have gotten in the first place was Dustin versus Nate.
It’s a sentiment that Poirier agrees with. In a new Bloody Elbow interview with Poirier as part of the UFC’s Timex partnership, “The Diamond” was asked who he would like to fight next. He began his still nostalgic response to the Diaz fight, which slipped through his fingers.
“Man, I really wanted to fight Nate before he left the company,” Poirier said. “You know, we tried to make that happen a few times. It just never came together. Something always happened. »
UFC 279 was the obvious time to fight, but Poirier and Diaz were dancing around each other for much longer than that. The entire time Diaz sat on the sidelines (frozen as the UFC tried to coerce him into re-signing), he and Poirier traded back and forth with insults, potential dates and general hype.
Prior to that, the two were nearly ready to fight at UFC 230 in November 2018 for the company’s annual event in Madison Square Garden. The promotion even had a press conference and clash before negotiations between the UFC and Diaz broke down.
“He wanted it, he just couldn’t get along with the UFC,” Poirier explained on Twitter a year later. “They offered us the main event at MSG, but he would only accept if it was on his terms. I was tired of playing games with the guy and that’s when I decided to heal an injury I was dealing with.
But, there’s no point in crying over spilled milk. What about opponents still under contract with the UFC? Poirier admitted no one was particularly exciting to him at the time, but a concrete fight offer could change that in a second.
“I’m not sure, man. Guys who are under the roster right now, like names,” he said. “I was just talking about that with someone at the gym. The names don’t really jump out at me, but the call of the UFC saying “this time, this date” makes me feel different. When it’s real. So sit down, I don’t know. I don’t know who to fight; What’s going to happen. We’ll just have to see when they call me, how I feel.
“I just want to be excited, I want to be scared, I want to be nervous and I want to be motivated,” he concluded.
Let’s just hope his next fight is sooner rather than later.
After his loss to Charles Oliveira in December 2021, it took 11 months for “The Diamond” to return, and this inactivity was not by choice. With the two wins over Conor McGregor and the Oliveira fight, 2021 has undoubtedly been the biggest year of his career. The UFC should reinvigorate Poirier’s momentum in 2023, if only to make up for their fumbling in the Diaz fight.
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