Dustin Poirier Rejects the Idea of Interim Belt for UFC Lightweight Division-Demands Clarity

Published 12/02/2020, 9:46 PM EST
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – SEPTEMBER 07: Dustin Poirier prepares to enter the Octagon prior to his lightweight championship bout against Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia during UFC 242 at The Arena on September 7, 2019 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


Dustin Poirier recently shared his thoughts on the idea of introducing another interim belt in the UFC lightweight division. “The Diamond” is set to fight Conor McGregor in the main event of UFC 257. When asked if he believes that fight should have been for the interim lightweight championship, Poirier made his thoughts clear.

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In the interview with Morning Kombat, Poirier said, “unless Khabib is taking a lot of time away from the sport, I don’t think an interim belt needs to be introduced. There’s already been 2 in the lightweight division, Khabib’s fought both times an interim champ was introduced.

No. There’s been 3. Tony was an interim champ as well.” Poirier corrected himself.

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ATLANTA, GA – APRIL 13: (L-R) UFC President Dana White places the interim lightweight championship belt on Dustin Poirier after defeating Max Holloway in their interim lightweight championship bout during the UFC 236 event at State Farm Arena on April 13, 2019, n Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

With Nurmagomedov rumored to be retired, there have been words spreading about an interim championship being introduced. But nothing about the champion’s retirement is officially announced.

Dustin Poirier believes the division needs clarity

I think the division needs clarity. It needs an undisputed world champion. And there’s no reason for that unless Khabib is out for a long time.” added the Louisiana native.

He also said that if indeed “The Eagle” is retired, then the next two best guys in the division need to fight for the undisputed crown. “If he’s retired, then the next two guys in the line need to fight for the belt,” Poirier added.

But he also believes that Khabib Nurmagomedov needs to make his decision clear one way or another and has to fight sooner. The champion can’t take a year off between fights, like he has done in the past two occasions, believes the former interim champion.

If he’s not retired, it has to be in the next 5-6 months. The guy can’t take a year off between fights.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 25: Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia reacts after his submission victory over Justin Gaethje in their lightweight title bout during the UFC 254 event on October 25, 2020, n UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Nurmagomedov announced he is retired recently

Nurmagomedov announced he is retired after defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. But he has not vacated the title and is still officially the champion. But the UFC lightweight division is a shark tank, and nobody is willing to wait for too long.

There are two hugely important lightweight clashes coming up. Tony Ferguson is set to fight Charles Oliveira at UFC 256 co-main event. And McGregor vs Poirier 2 is booked to headline UFC 257. Also, Michael Chandler is expected to make his highly anticipated UFC debut sooner rather than later.

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The lightweight division indeed needs clarity, and a decision regarding the belt has to be made soon. With the division stacked full of contenders with title aspirations, the champion Nurmagomedov has to decide his next step quickly.

What do you think of Poirier’s view of the interim championship? Is he right or not? Let us know in the comments.

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Apratim Banerjee

857 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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