Dustin Poirier Implores UFC to Pull Trigger on ‘Blockbuster’ Jon Jones vs. Alex Pereira Fight, Reveals He Almost Fought Nate Diaz on 24 Hours Notice

Poirier says now is the time for the UFC to book Jones vs. Pereira and revealed he was ready to fight Nate Diaz at UFC 279.

Dustin Poirier On Jones Vs Pereira
Courtesy of @UFCNews on X

Dustin Poirier believes now is the time for the UFC to pull the trigger on Jon Jones vs. Alex Pereira

Following Pereira’s impressive second-round knockout of Jiri Prochazka at UFC 303, calls for ‘Poatan’ to make the move to heavyweight were too loud for even Dana White to ignore. Whether or not the CEO allows it to happen remains to be seen, but with Pereira emerging as the company’s top star and consensus GOAT Jon Jones clinging onto the undisputed heavyweight title, now would be the perfect time for the promotion to capitalize on the hype and book the blockbuster matchup.

Or so says Poirier, who offered his take on the pair’s potential clash during an in-studio interview with Ariel Helwani.

“If Jones wrestles, I mean, Jones is lot bigger—I don’t know, Jones has never been knocked out,” Poirier said while discussing the potential Jones vs. Pereira fight. “Jones is not gonna play the game with him, he’s too smart. But also, moving to heavyweight might prolong [Jones’] longevity—a heavyweight’s shelf life is a lot longer. And even with the heavyweight division, bro, Stipe’s been out a good bit.

“Stipe [Miocic] could come back and be a completely different person. … Aspinall is like, obviously legit, he’s the interim champion. He’s beat some good guys, but he doesn’t have that aura that Alex and Jones have. It’s the perfect time for it—it’s bigger, it’s a blockbuster [fight], bro. …Dude, Jon Jones versus Alex is the one.”

As it stands, Jon Jones is expected to square off with former two-time titleholder Stipe Miocic later this year. That fight has been met with a collective “meh” from fight fans who spent the last six months clamoring for Jones to fight interim heavyweight champion Tom Aspinall. 
 
With Aspinall choosing to focus on a rematch with Curtis Blaydes, it seems like fans and pundits have also moved on from the unification clash, instead crossing their fingers that the UFC will make the money move and book Jones vs. Pereira. 

Dustin Poirier Was All In on Fighting Nate Diaz on 24 Hours Notice

During his conversation with Helwani, Poirier also dropped another interesting bit of information regarding an almost-fight with Nate Diaz

Diaz’s final appearance inside the Octagon came at UFC 279 in September 2022 against Tony Ferguson. Originally, the ‘Stockton Samurai’ was scheduled to headline the event against undefeated Chechen monster Khamzat Chimaev. Unfortunately, ‘Borz’ stepped on the scale significantly over the welterweight limit forcing the UFC to scramble for a replacement on 36 hours’ notice. 

Poirier revealed that he received the call to step in and was 100% on board until the UFC pulled the rug out from under him. 

“I accepted a fight against him on 24 hours’ notice, I was gonna fly to Las Vegas and weigh in on the same day, the night of the Khamzat [Chimaev] stuff,” Poirier explained. “It’s a crazy story the way it worked. [Coach] Mike Brown flew in on Thursday to Louisiana, just to come visit. We went to dinner and went to sleep. Friday morning, a bunch of missed calls and texts…my management, Hunter [Campbell], everybody from the UFC reaching out ‘Hey, he’s not going to make weight. Can you make 170?’…I had to do a Zoom call, I have an Android so I had to use my wife’s phone…

“I’m Facetiming with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, stepping on the scale so I can show them I could make weight safely. I’m like 176, I was gonna be 170 the same day. I was gonna fly out the next day…they somehow switched it up. He fought Tony [Ferguson], and then [Kevin Holland] fought Khamzat at a different weight. They switched it around, but I was in and I was gonna go.”

It’s not the first time Poirier and Diaz were matched up only for it to fall through. They were scheduled to square off at UFC 230, but ‘The Diamond’ was forced to withdraw due to a hip injury. 

Though he missed out on his shot at fighting Nate Diaz inside the Octagon, Poirier is more than willing to strap on the eight-ounce gloves and meet the TUF alumnus inside the boxing ring. 

“I would love [to box], that would be fun and exciting,” Poirier said. “A boxing match? Of course. A change of speed, a different training camp, just something different. I’ve been doing MMA awhile. I still love the training camps and I love fighting, but to go to purely boxing, the whole training camp would be a lot less wear on my body.

“No wrestling, no jiu-jitsu. It would be boxing, running, swimming—that’s fun, that’s fun stuff. I’d box Nate [Diaz]. Either [sport] but I’d rather [fight] Nate in boxing.”

Watch Poirier’s full MMA Hour appearance below:

Published on July 11, 2024 at 12:57 pm
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