After Poirier’s victory, Nurmagomedov said on Twitter he wants to unify the belts with “The Diamond” in the third quarter of 2019.
“My respect to both fighters, and Poirier’s achievement so far cannot be denied,” Nurmagomedov wrote. “My congratulations Dustin, see you in September.”
Nurmagomedov added that he thought the bout should have been a draw. All three judges scored it 49-46 in favor of Poirier.
A pay-per-view card in Abu Dhabi has been targeted for September but is not yet official. Nurmagomedov has also discussed returning at a potential Madison Square Garden show near the end of the year.
Nurmagomedov has been sidelined since a win over Conor McGregor at UFC 229 last October in his first lightweight title defense. “The Eagle” won the vacant belt against Al Iaquinta just under a year ago at UFC 223.
Nurmagomedov was involved in a brawl after the McGregor win that resulted in a nine-month suspension and a $500,000 fine from the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC). The Russian is eligible to return to the cage in July.