Poirier (28-7 MMA, 20-6 UFC) and Diaz (20-13 MMA, 15-11 UFC) have been poking at each other on social media for the past several weeks in attempt to set up a previously booked fight that never materialized in November 2018.
UFC president Dana White told MMA Junkie in December that he’s down to put the grudge match together so long as both athletes want it and the fan demand is there.
At least one side is most definitely in, and that’s Poirier. He told “THE FIGHT! With Teddy Atlas” podcast this week that he’s agreed to a date, location and weight class to face Diaz within the next six weeks. Now the onus is on the other side to join the party.
“No contract has been signed yet, but if this does go through I’m going to take it,” Poirier said. “This would be super short-notice. I already looked myself in the mirror. I spoke to my wife (Jolie) and my boxing coach (Dyah Davis) – people I talk to regularly. I talked to my coach Mike Brown as well. They support me if I want to take this fight, but I have to look myself in the mirror and ask, ‘Do I want to take this fight.’ I did exactly that. I looked in the mirror and I just felt good.’”
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Poirier, who is coming off a lightweight title-fight loss to Charles Oliveira at UFC 269 on Dec. 11, was initially coy about what type of offer he was presented, but then dished out a sliver of the goods by declaring the opponent as Diaz.
“The Diamond” wouldn’t elaborate any further as to not jump the gun or expose UFC’s plans for what would be a marquee contest between of the organization’s biggest stars. However, it’s pretty clear it’s the logical pairing for all involved, and Poirier said he’s ready to move to welterweight and fight on short notice to get it done.
“It is Nate Diaz,” Poirier said. “I’m not going to say a card. I’m not going to say what date. But he got on Twitter talking. This guy really fights and I’m a fan of him, but everybody’s a tough guy on the internet. He said something like, ‘Let’s do it.’ I said, ‘Yeah, sure. I’ll really fight you this month.’”
If the potential matchup comes to fruition, Diaz would enter on the final fight of his current UFC contract. The fan-favorite is coming off back-to-back losses against Leon Edward and Jorge Masvidal.