Dustin Poirier eyes Charles Oliveira title fight after beating Conor McGregor

Dustin Poirier

Dustin Poirier looks to be on course for a shot at the UFC lightweight title following his brutal first round victory over Conor McGregor at the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday night. 

McGregor started brightly and edged the opening exchange of the fight, but it soon became apparent that Poirier was simply biding his time before unleashing some big shots of his own and taking control of the fight. 

UFC president Dana White had said that Poirier's trilogy fight with McGregor would be a final eliminator for the UFC lightweight title with the winner going on to challenge Oliveira. 

Speaking after the fight, Poirier had nothing but praise for the UFC lightweight champion, saying: “He’s not just a guy in the division that happens to have the belt.

“He’s a guy who’s picked himself up off the canvas time and time again, fought through adversity through two weight classes [and] been in the UFC a decade.

"He’s not just a guy with the belt. He’s earned every ounce of gold he has around his waist, and I have nothing but respect for guys like that.

“I don’t know him personally, but his work history – I can’t hate on anything he’s done. It’s incredible.

"That’s tougher to do than to go undefeated. You never learn things about yourself. You learn things about yourself in those losses and climbing back to the top and getting motivated again.

"That’s when you find out you’re a real fighter. I’m not saying these undefeated guys aren’t, but I have respect for somebody who’s climbed back up and won a world championship.”

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However, Poirier insists he is in no rush to secure a second world title shot, as he wants to take some time off after staying active for the last 12 months despite the COVID-19 causing widespread disruption to the sporting calendar. 

He added: “I need to go home and decompress. I don’t know the schedule for the UFC, what they’re planning on doing at the end of the year.

"I know someone told me earlier that Charles wanted to fight me in December, so we’ll see.

"We’ll figure everything out. I just want to get home to my family.”

Poirier said he was "happy" with his victory and is of the opinion that hard work pays dividends as he rose to a career-high of No. 5 in the latest ESPN men's pound-for-pound rankings after claiming the biggest scalp of his career to date. 

"I wish I could have got a stoppage by strikes, but a win is a win," said the Louisiana native. "I felt like I was in control of the fight.

"His leg is the result of a defensive move, me checking a kick. I’m happy with the result. It's the fruit of my labor.

"I’m happy with the position I’ve put myself in. I’ve been working so hard for so long.

"Charles is a great champion and has paid his dues. We’ve both been in the UFC for a long time. I’ve been watching him a long time. It’ll be a good fight.”

Read more: Dustin Poirier promises fourth Conor McGregor fight despite 'murder' threats

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