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Dustin Poirier Was Ready to Fight Islam Makhachev, But UFC Chose Volkanovski

Dustin Poirier was ready to step in and face Islam Makhachev at UFC 294 on short notice, until Alexander Volkanovski got the lightweight title shot instead of him. Charles Oliveira had to pull out of the fight due to an injury.

Poirier said Hunter Campbell, the UFC Chief Business Officer, did not confirm that he was the next option. But Poirier was eager to take the chance if the UFC had picked him.

Campbell told ESPN before the event that Poirier agreed to the fight and kept asking Campbell about the status of the fight.

“That’s exactly accurate,” Poirier said in an interview with MMA Fighting while promoting Celsius Essentials. “I think it was 12 days, 11 days before the event [when I got the call].
The thing is, dude, I just landed, I have a condo in South Florida and, the day they called me, I had just landed maybe two-and-half-hours in Florida before the call [because I had] to check on my condo. I stayed there for maybe five days to get some training in with the team there because I haven’t seen them in a while. "

Poirier’s only fight in 2023 was a second-round knockout loss to Justin Gaetjhe for the “BMF” title at UFC 291. Poirier was pretty sure he would’ve been the choice if Volkanovski couldn’t fight."


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