Dustin Poirier has been a man on a mission since he moved up to the lightweight division after suffering a defeat at the hands of Conor McGregor at featherweight back in September 2014.
Since then, Poirier has gone on to fight 10 times at lightweight beating the likes Eddie Alvarez, Justin Gaethje and Anthony Pettis in earning a record of 8-1 with one no-contest. Ahead of his much-anticipated scrap against Max Holloway for the interim 155-pound belt this Saturday night at UFC 236, “The Diamond” says he may eventually move up again this time to the welterweight division to test his skills against the bigger guys (via MMAJunkie.com):
“I could never make 145 again, and I never will,” Poirier said. “If anything, I’ll go up. Definitely a possibility. My body is just getting heavier, more dense. Things change as you get older, and ’55 is not fun to make anymore. Not that fighting has to be fun 100 percent of the time, but I just want to be healthy.”
Poirier believes his body is capable of putting on the extra weight for the 170-pound division and cited Pettis’ recent success after he moved up from lightweight to knock out Stephen Thompson last month.
“Those guys are so long,” Poirier said. “It’s not so much the size – well, (Tyron) Woodley’s size is big – but I stopped Pettis, and he just stopped Stephen Thompson. MMA math doesn’t make sense, but (I could do it).”
Poirier’s last victory inside the Octagon was last July, when he finished former lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez. That fight turned out to be Alvarez’s final fight for the promotion, as he signed a lucrative multi-fight contract with One Championship.
Alvarez made his debut for the promotion last month against Timofey Nastyukhin who finished “The Underground King” in the opening round. Poirier pointed out that Alvarez, now 35-years-of-age, is close to the end of his career and their bout may have been his last significant fight in professional MMA.
“I know his eye got jacked up pretty bad (in the One Championship loss),” Poirier said. “Eddie’s had a lot of wars, and I think he knows he’s toward the end of his career. Backstage in Calgary when I stopped him I went into the medical room and shake his hand and he said, ‘I know we said a lot of stuff about each other, but this might be the last fight.'”
Before his win over Alvarez, Poirer had put on a striking clinic against the very dangerous Justin Gaethje, finishing the former World Series of Fighting lightweight champion in the fourth round. Poirier says now that Gaethje is back in form he is after a rematch to avenge that loss.
“(He wants a rematch) because I’m ranked ahead of him, and I knocked him out in front of his hometown,” Poirier said. “I’m sure those are the reasons. At this point in my career I feel like every time I sign the contract I’m willing to leave a piece of me in there. That’s just the level of fighting I’m fighting at and what’s on the line at this point in my career.
“Saturday night I know there’s a good chance I will have to leave a piece of me in there that I’ll never get back in the Octagon to be a world champion, and I’m willing to do it. I’m relatively young, Gaethje’s relatively young. It could happen.”