Dustin Poirier suffered a huge career setback when he lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov in their lightweight title unification bout at UFC 242, but ‘The Diamond’ isn’t giving up on UFC gold just yet.
Speaking to MMA Junkie in a recent interview, the top-three ranked lightweight contender and former interim champion said he wants to be remembered as one of the greatest of all time.
“My ultimate goal is to become the undisputed world champion,” Poirier said. “I cannot just go on with my career chasing big fights or just exciting fights. Those are the things I want to be part of. I want to entertain the fans and put on great fights and have ‘Fight of the Nights’ and have exiting matchups, but at the same time I want to be the undisputed world champion. I don’t want to have an asterisk next to my accomplishments for the rest of my life. I don’t want everybody to say, ‘interim champ’ every time someone says Dustin was the champion.”
Poirier is currently recovering from hip surgery but the Louisianan expects to be back in the lightweight title picture, or perhaps even competing for the title, by the end of the year.
“Either the world champion or closing the year out with a title shot – that’s realistic,” Poirier said. “I’m No. 2 (in the UFC’s rankings). Maybe one or two big fights, big wins away from another crack at it. Of course, every time I get beat out there, I want to avenge those losses. I’m sure every fighter does. It’s not much about the revenge. It’s about the gold. Whoever has that, that’s the fight I want.”
Poirier is ranked #2 in the UFC lightweight rankings and #14 in the UFC pound-for-pound rankings, with recent wins over the likes of Max Holloway, Justin Gaethje, Eddie Alvarez and Anthony Pettis.