Dustin Poirier has suggested that the winner of his much-awaited fight against Justin Gaethje could face UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev, but there is an obstacle

Dustin Poirier has suggested that the winner of his much-awaited fight against Justin Gaethje could face UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev for the latter’s title.

However, Poirier believes that if Beneil Dariush wins his upcoming fight against Charles Oliveira, Dariush deserves to fight Makhachev for the title first.

Poirier defeated Gaethje via fourth-round TKO in their first encounter in April 2018. The rematch will see them battle for the vacant BMF title in the main event of UFC 291 on July 29, 2023.

Their former opponent, ex-UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira, is coming off a second-round submission defeat against Islam Makhachev. Oliveira is booked to fight Dariush in a pivotal lightweight matchup at UFC 289 on June 10th, 2023.

During an interview with ESPN MMA‘s Daniel Cormier, former interim UFC lightweight champions Poirier and Gaethje were asked whether they see the BMF title matchup as an opportunity to propel them into one last run at UFC gold.

Poirier responded by stating:

“A 100 percent. I think this is a number-one contender’s fight for sure. I don’t think we jump over Beneil if he wins. But I think we’re next in line.”

‘The Diamond’ and ‘DC’ insinuated that Oliveira’s last fight ended with him losing to Islam Makhachev. Meanwhile, Dariush is on an eight-fight win streak. They seemingly agreed that if Oliveira beats Dariush, the Poirier-Gaethje winner could fight Makhachev for the title next.

Nevertheless, they indicated that if Dariush defeats Oliveira, Dariush would be more deserving than the Poirier-Gaethje winner of a title shot against Makhachev. Poirier said:

“That’s what I would imagine too. But you know how this is, man. If it’s not in writing on contract, we just take it one day at a time.”

Watch Poirier discuss the topic at 11:53 in the interview below:

Justin Gaethje on Beneil Dariush potentially leapfrogging him and Dustin Poirier into a UFC title fight

During the aforementioned interview, Daniel Cormier subsequently asked Justin Gaethje about his goal of capturing the UFC lightweight title. ‘DC’ appeared to suggest that another victory for Gaethje, particularly in his high-profile BMF title matchup, could warrant a UFC lightweight title fight for him.

‘The Highlight’ concurred with Cormier and implied that while the UFC’s rankings system isn’t perfect, it is there for a reason.

Gaethje pointed out that he’s No. 3, while Poirier is No. 2 in the lightweight rankings, whereas Oliveira and Dariush are No. 1 and No. 4 respectively. Echoing similar sentiments regarding the title picture as Poirier did, Gaethje explained:

“I think if Dariush wins, he’s gonna fight [Makhachev] in October, and the winner of that fight will fight the winner of this [Poirier-Gaethje] fight. And if Oliviera loses, then I think one of us is gonna be right back in the camp.” [*comments at 12:47 in the interview]

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