Dustin Poirier responds to Islam Makhachev’s claim of potential UFC 302 title shot being undeserved

Dustin Poirier doesn’t really care what Islam Makhachev thinks about his worthiness as a UFC lightweight title contender – he just wants the shot.

Following Poirier’s (30-8 MMA, 22-7 UFC) thrilling knockout finish of Benoit Saint Denis at UFC 299 this month, reigning 155-pound champion Makhachev (25-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC) told MMA Junkie he wants to fight “The Diamond” next, ideally at UFC 302 on June 1.

Makhachev outright stated Poirier “does not deserve” the shot above the winners of either upcoming UFC 300 matchups of Charles Oliveira vs. Arman Tsarukyan and Justin Gaethje vs. Max Holloway, but the situation comes down to timing. Makhachev is hungry to defend his belt and sees Poirier as the most logical opponent right now.

Poirier is unbothered by the slight from Makhachev, and disagrees that he would not be getting an undeserved opportunity given his overall body of work in MMA.

“That’s on him,” Poirier told USA TODAY Sports’ Mackenzie Salmon. “I’ve done more in the sport of mixed martial arts than he has. I’ve been around a long time. I was doing this before it was cool, and I’m still here. Still here doing it at the highest level. I can beat anybody in the world, and I hope he’s next.”

Poirier did not reveal whether his management team has had productive discussions with the UFC brass about booking the fight at UFC 302. He’s ready and the champion is ready, though, and he will be ready to sign a bout agreement.

“One hundred percent that’s what I want,” Poirier said. “If I could pick a fight, the title fight – that’s my choice. That’s what I want.”

Poirier, 35, has been on the UFC roster since January 2011. He’s put on countless memorable fights during that stretch, and is currently tied for the most knockout wins in UFC lightweight history.

Although Poirier has claimed an interim UFC title before, he’s come up short in two undisputed bids. He was submitted in his first opportunity against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242 in September 2019, then also succumbed to a submission against Charles Oliveira in his second chance at UFC 269 in December 2021.

Poirier, No. 4 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie lightweight rankings, is confident he could make the best of a third crack at gold against No. 1-ranked Makhachev, and is hopeful it will happen in just a few months.

“It’s the only thing left for me to do,” Poirier said. “I’ve done everything else in the sport of mixed martial arts. I’ve created business – multiple businesses. I’ve headlined so many cards. I’ve been 30 times in the UFC octagon. My family is set. I’ve done everything I’ve set out to do but capture the title, and that’s the only thing left for me to do, and that’s what I want.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 302.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie