Sports 5 options for Poirier's next fight after thrilling win

04:46  30 june  2020
04:46  30 june  2020 Source:   thescore.com

Poirier edges out Hooker in instant classic at UFC Fight Night

  Poirier edges out Hooker in instant classic at UFC Fight Night Dustin Poirier defeated Dan Hooker via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-46) in the UFC Fight Night main event Saturday in Las Vegas. The two lightweight contenders threw down for five rounds in what will surely be a candidate for "Fight of the Year." Hooker started strong, piecing up his opponent with shots from a distance. Poirier made the early rounds competitive, though, especially during a second frame that was one of the best in recent memory; Hooker nearly stopped Poirier at the end of the round.The former interim champion took over in the last three rounds, but it remained a war with Hooker firing back.

Charles Oliveira highlights winning streak in issuing Dustin Poirier callout. After watching Poirier (26-6 MMA, 18- 5 UFC) gut out a win , Oliveira took to Instagram to shoot his shot, as he reminded everyone of his recent accolades and why he’ s earned the right to face the former interim champion.

Dustin Poirier ’ s hard fought victory against Dan Hooker at UFC on ESPN 12 has been dubbed one of the greatest UFC lightweight fights in the sport’s history. New Zealander Hooker (20-9 MMA, 10- 5 UFC) looked in pole position to win the fight after securing the first two rounds, but Poirier fought

a close up of a man © Chris Unger / UFC / Getty

Dustin Poirier doesn't have a clear-cut next opponent after returning to the win column against Dan Hooker in last weekend's UFC Fight Night main event, a "Fight of the Year" candidate. Here are five options for his next fight.

Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor holding a racket: MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images / MediaNews Group / Getty © Provided by theScore MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images / MediaNews Group / Getty

Poirier has never held the undisputed belt, and his UFC interim-title reign only lasted five months, but he's up there with Khabib Nurmagomedov, BJ Penn, Eddie Alvarez, and Benson Henderson among the greats in the lightweight division.

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The lightweight clash between contenders Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker captivated the MMA world on Saturday night, as a host of big-name UFC stars sent their Dustin Poirier received praise from fellow UFC stars, including Khabib Nurmagomedov (inset) © UFC / Getty Images; Christopher Pike (Reuters).

After faltering in his first UFC main event, Dustin Poirier thrived in his second on Saturday when he defeated former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis at UFC Fight Night 120. Check below for the top Twitter reactions to Poirier ’ s victory over Pettis at UFC Fight Night 120.

And after his epic win over Hooker, a rising contender who had won three in a row, "The Diamond" deserves a big fight - a money fight, if you will. And do you know what fits that bill? A rematch with Conor McGregor.

Poirier and McGregor met as featherweights at UFC 178 in September 2014, quite a while before either was in title contention at 145 or 155 pounds. The fight would be drastically different six years later, and the stakes would be extremely high.

UFC president Dana White wants McGregor to fight the winner of the title fight between Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje, which is expected to happen later this year. But the Irishman's latest win came at welterweight, and he hasn't won at lightweight since 2016. Realistically, he should have to fight a top contender in the division like Poirier to earn another title shot.

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While the fight between Spence and Porter was a little tougher than most expected, including Spence, the immediate thought after the bout was what’ s next Errol Spence Jr. left the Staples Center as the IBF and WBC welterweight champion after earning a split-decision win over the rugged Shawn Porter.

MMA: UFC Fight Night- Poirier vs Hooker 2/4. Dustin Poirier absorbed several heavy blows but delivered a few more Saturday night, ultimately outlasting Dan Hooker for a unanimous decision victory in a " fight of the year" candidate in the main event at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas.

Poirier, meanwhile, lost to Nurmagomedov in devastating fashion just last September, so the UFC likely isn't in a rush to book him in another title fight as long as the Russian is champion. But if Poirier avenged his first-round knockout loss to McGregor, that would skyrocket him to stardom, and the promotion would have no choice but to give him another crack at the belt.

Tony Ferguson

Tony Ferguson standing in front of a fence: Jeff Bottari / UFC / Getty © Provided by theScore Jeff Bottari / UFC / Getty

Fans have wanted to see Ferguson and Poirier square off for years.

Since they've long been two of the top fighters in the UFC's most stacked division, many people want to see who would come out on top. And stylistically, this matchup seems to have "Fight of the Year" written all over it.

This isn't a battle between rising contenders; Ferguson is coming off a one-sided loss to Gaethje, the interim champ, and Poirier is only one fight removed from his defeat to Nurmagomedov. So it wouldn't eliminate a potential title challenger, but it would put one of them back into contention.

Perry beats Gall by unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night

  Perry beats Gall by unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night Mike Perry defeated Mickey Gall via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) in the UFC Fight Night co-main event Saturday in Las Vegas. "Platinum" clearly won the fight, landing bombs on the feet throughout the three-round contest. Perry displayed accuracy in the striking department and fought at a higher pace than his opponent. Gall's best shot to win the fight was on the ground, but he struggled to work his grappling skills. Perry actually got Gall down to the ground a few times, controlling him while in top position and landing ground-and-pound.With the victory, Perry snapped a two-fight skid.

Dustin 'The Diamond' Poirier defeated Max Holloway over five thrilling rounds in the main event at UFC 236, and he gave an inspirational speech while talking to Joe Rogan after the fight .

Dustin Poirier is willing to fight Tony Ferguson, but not just yet. Helwani said he would like to see Poirier face Ferguson following his hard- fought unanimous decision win over Hooker but the top-three UFC lightweight isn’t ready to start thinking about his next opponent just yet.

If Ferguson won, and Nurmagomedov beats Gaethje, maybe the cursed Nurmagomedov-Ferguson fight would finally happen. And if Poirier won, you can't rebound from a title loss much better than with victories over Hooker and Ferguson. Even with McGregor looming, the winner of Ferguson-Poirier would have every right to a shot at the 155-pound belt.

Charles Oliveira

Charles Oliveira et al. posing for the camera: Buda Mendes / UFC / Getty © Provided by theScore Buda Mendes / UFC / Getty

It wouldn't be surprising if McGregor has no interest in a Poirier rematch, and Ferguson might need some more time off considering the beating he took against Gaethje less than two months ago.

That could ultimately leave Poirier as the odd man out in the division, and he may have to fight another Hooker type - a rising contender who lacks McGregor's or Ferguson's name value.

Enter Charles Oliveira, who's quietly riding a seven-fight winning streak in the promotion. He most recently submitted Kevin Lee in the UFC Brasilia main event in March. Ranked No. 7 in the division, "Do Bronx" is due for a big fight.

Stylistically, Poirier-Oliveira is intriguing, and it's probably the most realistic option on this list. The latter is a dangerous jiu-jitsu artist - he has the most submission wins (14) and he's tied for the most finishes (16) in company history. Oliveira would almost for sure be an underdog against Poirier, who's predominantly a striker, but if he got the 31-year-old down to the ground, virtually anything would be possible.

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Dustin Poirier ’ s thrilling five -round victory over Dan Hooker is high on the list of potential “ Fight of the Year” candidates, so it almost goes without saying that Poirier ’ s win also goes into the books as UFC on ESPN 12’s “ Fight of It was Poirier ’ s ninth career post- fight bonus, while Hooker earned his fifth.

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Justin Gaethje (if he beats Nurmagomedov)

a baseball player holding a racket: Jeff Bottari / UFC / Getty © Provided by theScore Jeff Bottari / UFC / Getty

If Gaethje upsets Nurmagomedov and wins the lightweight title later in 2020, there's a chance the UFC will immediately give Poirier another title shot.

That's because Poirier beat Gaethje via fourth-round TKO in April 2018. Since then, Gaethje has evolved as a fighter and has won four straight bouts, but that win is still meaningful.

Gaethje recently indicated that the Poirier rematch is one of three fights he wants before he retires, and the American Top Team product has expressed interest himself. After all, Poirier-Gaethje was arguably the best fight of 2018, and a second bout between the scrappy lightweights would likely produce nothing but fireworks again.

The biggest argument against Poirier getting a title shot if Gaethje walks away the champ later this year is the fact that Nurmagomedov is undefeated at 28-0. The promotion would be foolish not to give the No. 2-ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC an immediate rematch, as he'd deserve the opportunity and it'd be good business for the company.

Nate Diaz

Nate Diaz standing in front of a screen: Mike Stobe / UFC / Getty © Provided by theScore Mike Stobe / UFC / Getty

If Poirier doesn't get a big fight - the Nurmagomedov-Gaethje winner, McGregor, or Ferguson - he might decide to take a one-off bout at welterweight and wait for the lightweight division to clear up. The Louisiana native said as recently as last week that he envisions himself eventually retiring as a 170-pound fighter.

There'd be no point in booking Poirier in a meaningful fight that gets him closer to the welterweight title because that's not what he's chasing. But it'd still have to be a big fight, and one that falls under that category is a bout against the one and only Nate Diaz.

Poirier and Diaz were scheduled to meet at UFC 230 in November 2018, but the former fell off the card due to an injury. It was a highly anticipated clash, and that would remain the case two years later.

This is certainly the oddball matchup of this list - Diaz isn't a top lightweight contender, and that's the kind of fighter Poirier should face next.

But Poirier-Diaz has been booked before, and it might be one of the only fights that would get the latter back into the cage. Diaz is a former lightweight, so it might not even require Poirier to move up in weight. This matchup is not as unrealistic as it might look.

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