At the UFC 281 event, Dustin Poirier defeated Michael Chandler by "submission" in the third round, thus achieving his first victory in this calendar year. It was also his only appearance since he was defeated by Charles Oliveira in the fight for the lightweight title in the twelfth month of last year, so even after Khabib's departure, Dustin did not reach the belt.
Not long after the match, the question of who is next for Poirier began to arise, and one name somehow got mentioned the most. That is of course Beneil Dariush, and the winner of that match could have been the next challenger.
But it looks like we won't be watching that match. Dustin revealed yesterday that he has other plans, and Dariush does not fit into them at all. “Big fights. Fun fights,” Poirier told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour.
“I don’t know, man. I completed the violence triangle — finished Gaethje, finished Eddie, finished Chandler. There’s a bunch of fights that would be crazy matchups, I just don’t know a name right now”.
When asked about the fight against Dariush, Poirier answered:
“Not really, honestly,” Poirier said when asked if he wanted Dariush next. “No disrespect to Beneil. Great fighter and he did it the right way.
He’s a very respectful guy, hard worker, and he goes in there and handles business, and I respect that. I’ll watch when he fights. When we just talked about the other names I’ve fought recently, that one’s not super exciting when I think about it”.
“I want those, because those are going to be the fun fights, the crazy fights, potential ‘Fight of the Year’ type of fights,” Poirier said. “But those are also the fights that give me those butterflies in the stomach everyday, or when the contract comes through, and I see his name across from it.
I’ve been watching [Chandler] a long time in Bellator, and I know some guys he beat. He’s very explosive, and that danger — it’s always the unknown, no matter how prepared you are. But when you go out there and you’ve got a guy of that caliber, who can finish the fight in a second and hit you with shots, cover distance, a lot of things he does are very dangerous”.
Although it is not known who Poirier is referring to, it was to be expected that he would reject Dariush because his style does not suit him, and he was defeated against every better grappler in the lightweight category.