Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Dustin Poirier’s upcoming grappling match could be the warmup for his MMA comeback against a would-be foe.
Poirier, who faces submission ace Gary Tonon later this month at a charity event, called out Nate Diaz and suggested a few dates proposed by the UFC after a recent call.
Spoke with the @ufc last night you gonna take the fight @NateDiaz209 ? 170LBS May in California or July international fight week? Come get this work
— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) February 8, 2020
The two were supposed to face off at UFC 230 in November 2018, with Poirier welcoming back Diaz after a two-year layoff. But there was drama surrounding the fight almost from the outset, with Diaz angered by the UFC’s decision to promote the long-awaited fight between his two-time opponent Conor McGregor and champ Khabib Nurmagomedov. Diaz left a press conference in support of UFC 230, and withdrew from the event shortly afterward, saying he’d return only to face Nurmagomedov.
Not long after, Poirier dropped off the card when a lingering hip injury forced him to the sidelines. The two have since taken sporadic shots at each other, with Poirier repeatedly calling to rebook the fight at 155, 170, or even 180 pounds.
Diaz’s plan ultimately didn’t materialize. He made his comeback nine months after UFC 230, outpointing ex-champ Anthony Pettis at UFC 241. He then took on Jorge Masvidal for the “BMF” belt at UFC 245 and suffered a third-round TKO loss when a doctor ruled him unable to continue.
Fresh off a surgery to repair his hip, Poirier announced his return to competition in jiu-jitsu. He also welcomed a boxing match with Diaz under the Zuffa boxing umbrella. But it appears the industry leader wants the octagon vets in the cage. Getting Diaz to agree is the only tough part.
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