Dustin Poirier notched a monumental win two weekends ago at UFC 257 by knocking out Conor McGregor in the second round of their headliner fight. From then on, “The Diamond” has been proclaiming himself as the “uncrowned” UFC lightweight champion.
As of right now, the undisputed 155-pound title remains in the possession of Khabib Nurmagomedov. “The Eagle” has not relinquished the throne and by the looks of things, the UFC isn’t planning to strip him of the title just yet.
But when the time does come for a vacant title fight, Poirier says he’s willing to step back and let fellow top contenders Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira battle it out.
“I want to be the world champion, and Charles is a guy that’s paid his dues,” Poirier told MMA Junkie. “He’s earned where he’s at, no doubt about it. Let him and Chandler fight for the belt.
“If they want Chandler in there for the title, and he’s calling for the title, let them fight for the belt. I’ll take a step back and just watch.”
Poirier is currently sitting comfortably at number one in the official rankings. He knows there is a huge target on his back, and it’s something he relishes.
“I’ve got a target on my back,” he said. “(I’m a former) interim world champion, I just knocked out Conor McGregor, and now I’m No. 1 and the only person above me, (Khabib Nurmagomedov), might never fight again.
“People want to climb that ladder, and in order to do that, you’ve got to beat the guys at the top. You’ve got to beat the next guys in line, so I understand why the target is on my back, and I wear it proudly.
“I am the uncrowned lightweight champ. If Khabib’s out, I am the best in the division. Former interim world champion, former title challenger. I just took out a two-division former world champion. I am the champ. I know that.”