Dustin Poirier has beaten Conor McGregor twice and is set to fight for the UFC lightweight title.
Yet neither McGregor nor lightweight champion Charles Oliveira, whom he may meet next, worry him.
Poirier, who also fought Khabib Nurmagomedov, is believed to face McGregor for the fourth time next summer, but when asked who would be his toughest opponent at 155 pounds, the current or former champions did not enter. in the calculation.
“For a few years now, I think 155 has been one of the divisions, if not the most difficult, in the UFC,” Poirier told ESPN.
“He’s been top heavy for many years, with a lot of contenders waiting for their shot. And now there are new guys in the mix and it’s just getting louder and louder.
“But right off the bat, I don’t really know. I think Khabib would, but he’s not in the mix right now. Perhaps Islam (Makhachev) – a similar style.
Poirier shot Khabib at UFC 242 in September 2019, but The Diamond was subjected in the third round to a rear choke.
He came as close as anyone to beating the Russian, but Poirier believes the man Khabib trains, Makhachev, presents his greatest danger.
But what made Khabib so good? Poirier says it’s all about his grappling and footwork.
“He’s so advanced,” he told American Top Team’s Punchin ‘In podcast. “And his feet are like hands. His foot is sweeping and the way he breaks you is good. He’s good – so good.
“I choked on myself and my goal was to turn that into a fight. I wanted it to be a fight, and he just choked me and did what he’s doing and I couldn’t stop him. I have been struggling for a long time.
Khabib’s loss is Poirier’s only one in his last 10 outings. This would prove to be Khabib’s penultimate fight as he would retire after facing Justin Gaethje a year later.
The Eagle now coaches other fighters at the American Kickboxing Academy with former coach Javier Mendez and Makachev appears to be their most promising title prospect.
Considering he is ranked fifth in the lightweight standings, it may only be a matter of time before Poirier faces his toughest opponent.