CALGARY – As impossible as it is to predict what will happen in the UFC lightweight division, Dustin Poirier appears to be on the cusp of a title shot.

But, of course, it’s not that simple.

In all likelihood, the UFC will soon announce a blockbuster title fight between Conor McGregor and champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, delaying Poirier’s rightful title shot.

McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) and Nurmagomedov (26-0 MMA, 10-0 UFC) represent two completely different fights for Poirier (24-5 MMA, 16-4 UFC), and not just stylistically.

“They’re both tough fights,” Poirier said on FS1’s post-fight show after a second-round stoppage of ex-champ Eddie Alvarez at UFC on FOX 30. “Very different fights. If I get a cut of pay-per-view, I want to fight Conor.”

As the biggest star on the UFC roster, McGregor brings a financial incentive that no other fighter can. Plus, he also offers the prospect of redemption.

Four years ago, McGregor and Poirier faced off as featherweights, and McGregor earned a first-round stoppage to climb the ranks. The loss was a turning point for Poirier, who afterward returned to lightweight.

“Every loss hurts, and I’m sure it feels great to get them back,” Poirier said. “But like I said before, I’m not chasing grudge matches. I’m chasing gold.”

Just how long he’ll have to chase is the question that remains unanswered. There are strong indications that McGregor vs. Nurmagomedov could take place as soon as October at UFC 229 and as late as December at UFC 232. Will Poirier wait that long?

“I don’t want to wait a year, but if it makes sense for me to wait four, six months, we’ll see,” he said. “I’ve been fighting a while. This is my 39th fight, man. I feel like I’ve earned a position to contest for a world title.”

With his third consecutive win in three consecutive bouts against former MMA champions, it’s hard to argue otherwise. But Poirier said he could also be persuaded to take out another ex-champ in former interim titleholder Tony Ferguson.

If Poirier serves as a co-headliner to the upcoming McGregor vs. Nurmagomedov showdown, he might even volunteer to take on Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC), who was stripped of the belt when he withdrew from a title fight with Nurmagomedov in April at UFC 223.

“If (UFC President) Dana (White) calls me, and we make a deal for the fight, maybe,” Poirier said during the post-fight news conference. “I don’t know. I’m the best in the world, man. I could beat all these guys.”

And if the unpredictable MMA gods found a way to scrap McGregor or Nurmagomedov, leaving the door open for a short-notice replacement? It’s not ideal, but Poirier indicated he would be ready for that, too.

“I don’t plan on getting crazy out of shape or anything like that,” Poirier said. “I’m going to get back in the gym, work on some stuff. I have a bunch of buddies fighting in a couple months back in Louisiana, so I want to help them get ready. I’ll be around, but in a perfect world, which this is not, I would have a full camp and get a fair shake at a title shot.”


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