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I have done more in MMA than him: Dustin Poirier hits out at Islam Makhachev

LockerRoom Team
23 March 2024

Dustin Poirier isn't fazed by Islam Makhachev's reservations about his worthiness as a UFC lightweight title contender. Following Poirier's stunning knockout victory over Benoit Saint Denis at UFC 299 earlier this month, Makhachev expressed his desire to face "The Diamond" next, preferably at UFC 302 on June 1.

In an interview with MMA Junkie, reigning 155-pound champion Makhachev (25-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC) made it clear that he wants to defend his belt against Poirier (30-8 MMA, 22-7 UFC), despite believing that Poirier "does not deserve" the shot over the winners of the upcoming UFC 300 matchups of Charles Oliveira vs. Arman Tsarukyan and Justin Gaethje vs. Max Holloway. However, Makhachev emphasized that the decision ultimately comes down to timing, deeming Poirier as the most logical opponent at present.

Poirier, however, remains unperturbed by Makhachev's comments and disagrees with the notion that he doesn't deserve the opportunity, citing his extensive experience and accomplishments in MMA.

"That's on him," Poirier told USA TODAY Sports' Mackenzie Salmon. "I've done more in the sport of mixed martial arts than he has. I've been around a long time. I was doing this before it was cool, and I'm still here. Still here doing it at the highest level. I can beat anybody in the world, and I hope he's next."

Although Poirier did not disclose whether discussions with the UFC regarding the fight at UFC 302 have been fruitful, he reiterated his eagerness to compete for the title.

"One hundred percent that's what I want," Poirier asserted. "If I could pick a fight, the title fight – that's my choice. That's what I want."

A veteran of the UFC since January 2011, the 35-year-old Poirier has left an indelible mark on the promotion, boasting numerous memorable fights and currently holding the record for the most knockout wins in UFC lightweight history.

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Despite falling short in two previous undisputed title bids, Poirier remains confident in his ability to seize the championship, particularly against Makhachev, who holds the top spot in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie lightweight rankings.

"It's the only thing left for me to do," Poirier emphasized. "I've done everything else in the sport of mixed martial arts. I've created business – multiple businesses. I've headlined so many cards. I've been 30 times in the UFC octagon. My family is set. I've done everything I've set out to do but capture the title, and that's the only thing left for me to do, and that's what I want."

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