UFC lightweight contender Poirier believes that a win over Alvarez catapults him to the top of the rankings.
It was only last month that Dustin Poirier was forced to limp from the Octagon after suffering a nasty leg injury against MMA veteran Jim Miller at UFC 208, but that hasn’t stopped him from training to fight Eddie Alvarez at UFC 211 in May.
Poirier, 28, edged out the majority decision win against Miller and will take on former UFC and Bellator lightweight champion Alvarez at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
‘The Diamond’ was planning to take some time off but was lured back into the Octagon when the UFC offered him the fight against Alvarez.
Poirier says a win over the multiple-promotion champion would launch him into title contention.
“A win over Eddie Alvarez would put me right there fighting for the title,” Poirier told MMAjunkie Radio in a recent interview. “That would put me at 6-1 in the lightweight division with a win over the former champ. It’s not like I’m a guy who just stumbled into the top 10. … I’ve been in title eliminator fights before at featherweight. I’m not a new guy to the block, and I’ve been putting in work.
Alvarez, who has been an avid competitor since 2003, lost the 155-pound strap to Conor McGregor at UFC 205, losing via second-round TKO stoppage.
“This guy was just a champion. If I go out there and put a stamp on Eddie Alvarez, I think I’m one win away,” Poirier continued.
Poirier, a former featherweight contender, moved to the lightweight division after his loss to ‘The Notorious’ in 2014. The American Top Team product notched a four-fight win streak before succumbing to the No. 6 ranked Michael Johnson at UFC Fight Night 94, losing via first-round KO.
Poirier rebounded with a hard-fought win over Miller and says his motivation is at an all-time high heading into his bout against Alvarez.
“He might not have the same motivation he had on his climb to that belt,” he said. “But I know this: This is the biggest fight of my life, and Eddie’s probably thinking it’s not the biggest fight of his life. … I don’t know what’s going on with Eddie, but I hope he’s busting his ass.”
UFC 211, which features Alvarez vs. Poirier on a stacked main card, takes place May 13 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.