Dustin Poirier was more than happy to headline UFC Fight Night in Norfolk, Virginia against former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, but he knows deep down he should have been facing a different opponent.
Earlier this year, Poirier faced another former champ in Eddie Alvarez in an epic battle that unfortunately ended in a no contest.
Following an early barrage from Poirier that nearly earned him the finish, Alvarez somehow found a way back into the fight but then launched a pair of illegal knees that forced an end to the fight. Afterwards, the result was declared a no contest and both Poirier and Alvarez immediately assumed they’d meet again to settle the score once and for all.
Unfortunately the UFC opted to go in a different direction with Alvarez coaching the new season of “The Ultimate Fighter” and then facing rising star Justin Gaethje in December at UFC 218.
It was a puzzling move that Poirier still doesn’t quite understand and even though he’s happy to celebrate a third round stoppage against Pettis, he knows there’s still plenty of unfinished business with Alvarez.
In fact, Pettis called for the winner of that fight for his next opponent but he makes it clear that while he has absolutely no grudge against Gaethje whatsoever, he’s rooting for Alvarez to get the win so they can finally meet again.
“I hope Eddie wins and we can build this up into what it should be — a rematch I should have got before this fight even happened tonight,” Poirier said at the post fight press conference. “It should have been an automatic rematch. He shouldn’t have been rewarded with a TV show and more publicity and another big fight against another high ranked guy.
“He cheated and got out of a fight that he was losing and he should have been forced to run it back with me. I’m the guy who got robbed in that fight. He got rewarded.”
Poirier called for the winner of Alvarez vs. Gaethje several times on Saturday night so it’s hard to imagine the UFC matchmakers weren’t listening.
For now, Poirier can enjoy his latest win as well as a $50,000 bonus for his part in the ‘Fight of the Night’ while awaiting the outcome of UFC 218 to see if he really will get the winner of that lightweight matchup on Dec. 2.