Dustin Poirier knows why he wasn’t chosen to replace Khabib Nurmagomedov against Tony Ferguson at UFC 249.
The promotion decided to go with Justin Gaethje, who now meets Ferguson for the interim 155-pound belt on the April 18 card.
“I think that’s exactly what it was,” Poirier told MMA Junkie. “Me coming off the loss to Khabib, it’s just a new contender, a guy on a streak, an exciting fight. It’s just what happens. It’s business. I understand it’s a business. I can’t twist their arm and make them do things. Of course I would love to be in there across from Tony, but it’s all good. I’ve just got to fight and win, and everything will resolve itself.”
“I think (Gaethje is) going to knock Tony out,” Poirier said. “Both guys on the technical side of it don’t have the most crisp technique when it comes to kickboxing, but they’re both very damaging fighters. They both go in with reckless abandonment of their own self to land the big shots. I just think Gaethje is going to land something big on the inside and hurt Tony, man. I really do. We’ve seen Tony hurt a few times. I just think Gaethje is going to be the one to finish him.”
A loss to Gaethje might spell the end of 36-year-old Ferguson’s title aspirations, and therefore hope for a showdown with Nurmagomedov.
“Nah (I wouldn’t feel bad), that’s fighting,” Poirier said. “You take the risk. We’ll see what happens. That’s just fighting. It’s so unpredictable.”