Islam Makhachev: Dustin Poirier ‘doesn’t deserve title fight’ but doesn’t have ‘any option’

UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev acknowledges that Dustin Poirier may not have earned a title shot, but he is still eager to face him in his next bout.

Speaking to MMA Junkie’s Mike Bohn, Makhachev stated, “I know Dustin doesn’t deserve the title fight, but we don’t have any options right now. Everybody is busy. But I want to fight.”

Following Poirier’s knockout victory over Benoit Saint Denis in the co-main event of UFC 299, Makhachev expressed interest in defending his title against Poirier in June. Poirier, currently ranked No. 3 and a former interim champion, rebounded from a knockout loss to Justin Gaethje last July with his recent win.

Makhachev emphasized his desire to remain active in the octagon, pointing out that with Charles Oliveira versus Arman Tsarukyan and Gaethje versus Max Holloway scheduled for UFC 300 in April, Poirier presents a compelling alternative.

“I want to fight three times in the year,” Makhachev said. “That’s why I just have to call someone, and Poirier is free now. And he showed an excellent performance and scored a beautiful knockout. He’s free now, he’s healthy, and I asked him to fight in June. Maybe.”

Initially eyeing a return to action in March, presumably against Gaethje, whom he had been pushing to fight, Makhachev revealed that the UFC informed him there was no available opponent. He also noted that the promotion had previously proposed a fight in February, but he was recovering from a minor injury at the time.

Makhachev’s last Octagon appearance saw him secure a knockout victory over then-featherweight titleholder Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 294 in October. He believes a matchup with Poirier would be beneficial for his career.

“He’s beaten a lot of tough guys,” Makhachev acknowledged regarding Poirier. “He’s a legend.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *