A unification fight for the UFC Lightweight Championship may be all-but-confirmed for later this year in September between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier.
Last night in the main event of UFC 236 in Atlanta, Poirier defeated Max Holloway to win the interim UFC Lightweight Championship via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46).
During his post-fight interview, the new interim UFC Lightweight Champion reflected on his journey to winning gold for the first time in the promotion.
The Diamond said, via MMA Fighting: “Man, this feels amazing. I feel like I’m in a dream right now. I just beat one of the pound-for-pound best in the world.
"To be the best you’ve got to beat the best and damn I feel good. It’s been a long time, this is my 23rd or 24th fight with Zuffa, I’ve got knocked down, I’ve climbed back up.
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“This is my belt, I earned this in blood, I paid in full. This is mine.”
Poirier is now in prime position to challenge Khabib for the UFC Lightweight title and unify the belts. He made sure The Eagle knew he was coming for him by channeling his inner Daniel Cormier to send him a message.
He said: “In the words of our buddy Daniel Cormier: Get your shit together, young man, we’ve got a belt to fight for!”
It didn't take long for the actual UFC Lightweight Champion to send his response to his newest challenger.
Khabib gave his thoughts on the fight as well, but ultimately stated he was looking forward to meeting The Diamond inside the Octagon in September later this year.
He said: "I don’t agree with the judges 49:46, I got a draw, my respect to both fighters, and Poirier's achievement so far cannot be denied, my congratulations Dustin, see you in September. 🦅 vs 💎"
Khabib is currently serving his suspension for his involvement in the UFC 229 post-fight brawl between his camp and the camp of his opponent that night, Conor McGregor.
His suspension will be up on July 6, so a September fight date against Poirier will give him enough time to put a fight camp together and prepare to defend his UFC Lightweight title for the second time.