Dustin Poirier knows why he didn’t replace Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 249 and battle Tony Ferguson for the interim lightweight title.
In the main event of UFC 249, Ferguson will now fight Justin Gaethje where the winner will get a title shot against Nurmagomedov. For Poirier, he says the UFC didn’t give him the shot in case he won and Nurmagomedov would’ve fought him in back-to-back fights.
“I think that’s exactly what it was,” Poirier told MMA Junkie on Wednesday. “Me coming off the loss to Khabib, it’s just a new contender, a guy on a streak, an exciting fight. It’s just what happens. It’s business. I understand it’s a business. I can’t twist their arm and make them do things. Of course, I would love to be in there across from Tony, but it’s all good. I’ve just got to fight and win, and everything will resolve itself.”
If the fight does happen on April 18, Poirier has always said from the beginning Gaethje will beat both Ferguson and Nurmagomedov. He’s standing by that as he believes “The Highlight” will knockout “El Cucuy.”
“I think [Gaethje is] going to knock Tony out,” Poirier said. “Both guys on the technical side of it don’t have the most crisp technique when it comes to kickboxing, but they’re both very damaging fighters. They both go in with reckless abandonment of their own self to land the big shots. I just think Gaethje is going to land something big on the inside and hurt Tony, man. I really do. We’ve seen Tony hurt a few times. I just think Gaethje is going to be the one to finish him.”
If Gaethje does win, it could very well end Ferguson’s title aspirations. But, for Poirer, he says he wouldn’t feel bad about that.
“Nah [I wouldn’t feel bad], that’s fighting,” Poirier said. “You take the risk. We’ll see what happens. That’s just fighting. It’s so unpredictable.”