If UFC’s new top ranked lightweight Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier becomes referred to as the new lightweight king, that shouldn’t be because he defeated Conor McGregor. Poirier has won 6 of his last 7 fights with wins over former champions Anthony Pettis and Eddie Alvarez, Max Holloway (FTW), and of course former two division champ, McGregor. He also owns a victory of the last title challenger, Justin Gaethje. His sole loss in that stretch came at the hands of the greatest and most dominant lightweight of all time, Khabib Nurmagomedov. The moment Khabib retired was the moment Poirier became the top lightweight in the company, beating Conor just cemented that fact.
Where Does Poirier Go Next? Well the obvious should be an undisputed title fight against former Bellator champ Michael Chandler who was incredibly impressive in his debut, with a KO over Dan Hooker. But Poirier balked at that idea. He could also fave Charles Oliveira but, the Diamond suggested that maybe Chandler and Oliveira face each other for a shot at him. Not sure how smart it is money wise to eliminate potential challengers. I’d strike while the iron is hit and book the Chandler fight in April, as both men became huge stars Saturday night.
Another potential fight which makes no sense from a sports perspective, but would be a huge draw, would be against Nate Diaz. Diaz hasn’t fought since getting thoroughly destroyed at the hands of Jorge Masvidal in 2019 but is a name and could present a challenge but Poirier would be favored to win, and would secure him another victory over a big name. In fact, Diaz is already angling for that fight.
Of course there is also the possibility of completing his trilogy with McGregor they are one and one against each other with both having KOs. Conor has been really inactive the last couple years and didn’t look like his normal self. McGregor could make some adjustments and maybe a third fight would be more competitive. Conor did win the first round but Poirier’s calf kicks were too overwhelming and he clearly was not prepared to defend them. Thats something he could fix though.
No matter who Poirier fights next, it should be a title fight and neither Nate Diaz nor Conor deserve a title fight. Good news for UFC is, there’s lots of money fights to be made in the lightweight division.