Dustin Poirier is bitterly disappointed that fans are discussing a budding Irish talent instead of a proven WEC veteran for a potential featherweight title shot.
A longtime competitor in the UFC's featherweight division, Poirier has gone 8-2 since joining the promotion following the WEC merger, and has only lost bouts to Chan Sung Jung and Cub Swanson. He is currently riding a three-fight win streak that includes stoppage wins over Diego Brandao and Akira Corassani and will now look extend that streak with a win against Conor McGregor at UFC 178.
Considering he is a battle-tested competitor, Poirier is outraged that fans and pundits have began to throw their weight behind a fighter who has done more with his mouth than with his fists.
"Right off the bat I've been fired up about this guy," he told host Ariel Helwani. "I've been in this division since the WEC merged. I've paid my dues, and I've stayed quiet and busted my ass, day in, day out, won the fights I needed to win, and I've had some tough fights. I feel I need to be up there. I need to be up there where people are talking about me. [McGregor's] name and the featherweight title should never come out of anybody's mouth. I can't believe the hype he's getting."
Poirier spoke with supreme confidence in himself as he explained that he would not go the distance against McGregor.
"I don't think I'm going to need three rounds to do it, or five rounds to do it, so it can happen wherever the UFC wants it to happen, but like I said, I want the big fights, the top five guys," he said. "I want the title. But these hands are working hands, and sometimes you've got to get them dirty. And I'll go to the back of the line to clean this guy up."
McGregor is far from Poirier's first choice for his next octagon outing, but since the UFC brass refuses to give him one of the division's top contenders, a bout with the Irishman will have to do.
"To tell you the honest truth, I think I should be fighting Frankie Edgar, Chad Mendes, Cub Swanson again...I should be fighting the top guys," he said. "But, I've asked for those fights and haven't got them. So what should I do?"
Ultimately, Poirier believes the responsibility falls on his shoulders to restore order to the featherweight division. After ten fights in the UFC octagon, ‘The Diamond' will not allow McGregor's newfound hype overshadow his own hard work.
"I feel like he's disrespecting the whole featherweight division, and nobody's going to step up and put this guy down and shut him up?" he said. "The UFC is my house. I built where I'm at from the ground up, man, and nobody's going to come in here walking around talking that trash."
UFC 178 takes place September 27 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Transcription taken from MMAFighting.com.