Poirier declares 'I'm the champ' after TKO versus McGregor at UFC 257

By Tom Webber 24 January 2021 17
Poirier declares 'I'm the champ' after TKO versus McGregor at UFC 257

Dustin Poirier declared "I'm the champ" after defeating Conor McGregor by technical knockout at UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

A string of punches to McGregor's head in the second round made Poirier a leading contender for the UFC lightweight title, which is still held by Khabib Nurmagomedov despite the Russian having retired.

Poirier said he would be open to a rematch with McGregor or a bout with Nate Diaz but ruled out a fight against Michael Chandler, who defeated Dan Hooker on his UFC debut in the co-main event.

Asked if a fight with former Bellator lightweight champion Chandler interested him, Porier said: "No, it does not. Respect to Chandler, great win over a guy, but to come in and beat a guy I just beat and get a title shot?

"Dude, I've been 27, 28 fights in the UFC, trying everything, fighting the toughest of the toughest guys to get my hands on gold. He should fight Charles Oliveira or something, let them go at it.

"That doesn't really interest me at this point. I'll go and sell hot sauce if that's the case.

"It's not even my position, I've just been putting in the work, that's why I can sit here and talk about it because I've been in the division and the UFC for a long time fighting the best of the best to him.

"No disrespect to him … it's just my feelings towards the division and the sport. I feel like I lost to Khabib, I came out and put on a fight of the year for you guys, got my hand raised against a top-five opponent after that, then I come in here and Khabib doesn't want to come back, and one of the biggest fights you can get I knock this guy out too.

"Khabib reiterates he doesn't want to fight anymore. Dude, I'm the champ.

"Fighting a new guy to the UFC who just beat a guy whose coming off a loss that I just beat for the belt, that's not exciting to me."

Poirier ranked the victory over McGregor as one of his best, particularly because the Irishman won their first meeting in 2014 and had never been knocked out before.

"It's up there, especially finishing a guy who's never been finished like that, it's up there man," he said.

"Touching that UFC interim belt was so important to me, and putting my hands on the undisputed world title before this is all said and done is what I want to absolutely do, but this is a big one."

Poirier lost his first and only shot at the title when he was submitted at UFC 242 by Nurmagomedov, who bowed out after making Justin Gaethje tap at UFC 254 last October.

Asked whether Gaethje or Oliveira was more deserving of a chance to fight him for the lightweight belt, he replied: "Oliveira, because he's never had the opportunity.

"Gaethje just came out here and got beat. As I did. Not a knock on Gaethje, but he lost. Oliveira probably, or let them fight to see who gets it. There are so many tough fighters in the 155-pound division."

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Tom Webber

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