Dustin Poirier says he still hasn’t been offered Tony Ferguson fight but is ready when it comes
In June, Dustin Poirier rebounded from his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242 with a unanimous decision win over fifth-ranked lightweight contender Dan Hooker. The victory reinserted Poirier into the title conversation at 155 pounds and raised questions about who Poirier should fight next on his path back to another title shot. As with all top lightweights, one of the names suggested was a rematch with Conor McGregor but UFC President Dana White has also thrown out another possibility: former interim champion Tony Ferguson.
Last month, White revealed that the UFC is looking to schedule Poirier to face Ferguson later this year. Ferguson had long been the “1B” at lightweight next to champion Nurmagomedov, but lost his opportunity to fight Khabib when he was stopped by Justin Gaethje at UFC 249. Now, Gaethje will challenge Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title at UFC 254 and, according to Poirier, though nothing is set in stone yet, the UFC is in fact looking to book the fight between he and Ferguson as the co-main event of that card.
“I don’t have a contract yet,” Poirier said on the UFC Unfiltered podcast. “I saw Dana talking about it. I know that they want it. I know they want it on the same card as Khabib and Gaethje. I’m just waiting. I’m just waiting to talk to them.”
Again, though nothing has been confirmed, all parties seem to be trending towards the belief that this fight will in fact take place on Oct. 24. In fact, given that UFC 254 is only eight weeks away, Poirier is already in fight camp, despite the lack of contract, revealing that he flew into Florida to start his preparations at American Top Team as soon as he heard the rumors.
“When the rumbling started, when they started talking about it, I booked the flight. I’m in Florida right now,” Poirier said. “I just got done with wrestling practice a couple of hours ago. I came to Coconut Creek. We’re eight weeks out this week, so better safe than sorry. Dana knows my number. If we get this fight made, I’m already here, training. If not, I fly back to Louisiana and we’ll see what happens.”
With Conor McGregor some level of retired, the fight makes a lot of sense promotionally. It’s the second and third-ranked contenders facing off with one another and the winner would almost certainly receive the next title shot, regardless of who wins between Khabib and Gaethje, and that’s one of the reasons Poirier is so interested in the bout.
“For sure,” Poirier said when prompted about it being the co-main event for UFC 254. “If they do it on the same night, it’s like a lightweight tournament. First bracket.”
UFC 254 is set to take place on Oct. 24 at a yet to be determined location.