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Oliveira vs. Poirier: What Should Poirier Do Next?

By Adam Fishkin  |  December 15, 2021  |  No Comments

Was that the expected outcome? Or were we looking out for something else? It was a tough one out there in UFC 269, but it seems the highlight of the night was Amanda Nunes' Bantamweight loss to Juliana Pena. The fight shocked everyone, and with Nunes having not lost a bout since 2014, it was clearly unexpected.

Well, our point of focus in this blog is on Dustin Poirier's loss to Charles Oliveira. It would be surprising to have expected him to beat Oliveira, but considering that he was convincing in his two fights against Conor McGregor that preceded his loss to Oliveira, people backed him all the way.

Poirier started the fight well

Where did Poirier get it wrong?

Oliveira just had to defend his UFC lightweight championship, and he did it seamlessly by choking out Poirier. Poirier was poor on the night, and the result even saw McGregor, who he has defeated twice, labeling him embarrassing. The annoying thing about the fight is that Poirier had to be beaten by submission, and it was in the third round.

Poirier started brilliantly, the same way Oliveira did. They both started with pace, which saw Poirier throw some punches and a knockdown. On the other hand, Oliveira hit Poirier with his knee. By the end of the second round, Poirier was already clamoring for a break, and Oliveira was well on top. Poirier could do little in the third round other than succumbing to his Brazilian opponent.

There was so much on the line for Oliveira as he tried to defend his title. This was considering he had only beaten Michael Chandler in his last bout to claim it after legendary Khabib Nurmagomedov's retirement that left the belt open.

The win over Poirer assured Oliveira that he could hold on to the UFC lightweight championship title for longer.

The first round was somewhat in Poirier's favor, but he continued to dip in form.

Oliveira was all over Poirier at this point

After the brilliant first round that saw him knock down Oliveira, Poirier got the second round wrong, allowing Oliveira to pin him on the deck with a string of elbows to his head. However, because of the damage already done in the second round, Poirier didn't take so long to yield through submission in the early stages of the third round.

Poirier eventually landed 69 of his 105 strikes. With significant strikes, he had landed 58 of 94, and he eventually donated $20,000 to a charity of Oliveira's choice in Brazil.

What next for Poirier?

There are different consequences attached to Dustin Poirier's loss to Charles Oliveira, and the first one is that he has dropped one place in the UFC lightweight championship ranking. Poirier now ranks No. 2 as Justin Gaethje displaced him in No. 1. 

Also, following the loss, there have been rumors that Poirier could retire. However, he has stated that he will decide his future in the next few days.

The first thing he will most likely want to do is get back to winning ways and perhaps have a chance to return to No. 1 on the ranking list. If he must get back to winning ways, an immediate rematch against Oliveira might be too much to ask of him. The victory added to Oliveira's record of the most finishes in the history of UFC, and Poirier may need to prepare harder to face him again in the future. 

Poirier's next step of action could be facing Conor McGregor for the fourth time. They seemed to have a prior agreement after Poirier defeated him on TKO after he couldn't continue due to the doctor's stoppage from suffering a broken tibia after the first round. Thankfully, McGregor is ranked No. 9 in the Lightweight ranking, and he could offer Poirier the test he needs to get himself back. 

Poirier couldn't eventually handle Oliveira

There is no better time to fight McGregor, considering how famous the Irishman is. A win for Poirier over McGregor will see his name back in the mouths of the fans and could get him the hype he needs to mount another challenge at the UFC lightweight championship. Poirier may need to wait until after the summer to fight with McGregor, but if he can't, he may need to fight some other opponents.

Other fighters Poirer can challenge;

Justin Gaethje

Is it ideal for Poirier to face Justin Gaethje? Well, if he has enough courage, he should be challenging Gaethje. A win over Gaethje will give Poirier the immediate opportunity to launch a rematch at Oliveira sooner than expected. However, Gaethje already has his mind on taking a shot at the title, and he could be looking to challenge Charles Oliveira in his next fight. After recently beating Michael Chandler, Gaethje (23-3) is looking forward to displacing Oliveira on the title seat. Now that he's ahead of Poirier in ranks, he may not want to take on "the Diamond." However, if he doesn't get a shot at Oliveira, then fighting Poirier would be the next thing on his mind. It could help him secure his place as No. 1 properly. 

It would be Poirier's chance to get back to contention for the title fight if he can beat Gaethje, and if he's not scared of what the outcome will be, he may need to give it a shot.

Michael Chandler

According to different opinions, going up against Michael Chandler is Poirier's best bet. Chandler is No. 5 on the rank, and it would not be a bad shot for Poirier to place him in contention for a rematch against Oliveira. Chandler is on a two-fight losing streak, first losing the vacant UFC Lightweight Championship to Oliveira in May before losing to Gaethje in November. It would be a perfect opportunity for Poirier to add to Chandler's woes and get back on track. Chandler has a 22-7 record and may need to get back to winning ways fast. The question to ask is whether Poirier might be too big for him, but there is no better time to take a shot at Poirier than now that he just lost. A win will also give Chandler a chance at the title shot. It's a win-win for both of them, and there is no better opportunity than this.

Nate Diaz

There have been reports that Dustin Poirier could re-book a fight with Nate Diaz. After failing to fight him in 2018 after he pulled out due to injury, Poirier could get a shot at Diaz, who is predominantly now in welterweight. Diaz presently has a 20-13 record, and he's currently on a two-fight losing streak after losing to Jorge Masvidal in 2019 and Leon Edwards this year.

Poirier and Diaz were scheduled on August 3, 2018, as co-headliners of UFC 230 on November 3, 2018, to hold a fight at the Madison Square Garden in the US. However, on October 10, 2018, Poirier pulled out after sustaining a hip injury. They've both had digs at each other since then, and Poirier could relish the chance to get back to winning ways. 

Poirier lost to Oliveira at UFC 269

The fight against Diaz will not get him anywhere near a UFC lightweight championship challenge, but it will provide a morale booster and enrich Poirier's pocket.

Poirier is not new to having setbacks like this. He has lost in the past and has come back on top again. His recent loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov is an example of when he came back stronger with three wins before losing to Oliveira. Also, when he lost to Michael Johnson in 2016, he came back stronger with several wins. If it's Poirier, he knows what to do to get back on track.

He currently has a 28-7 (1) record, and the next time he fights, he would be looking to make it 29-7 (1). It's up to him to decide what is best for him.

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