NORFOLK, Va. – Dustin Poirier is rooting for Eddie Alvarez to take out surging lightweight Justin Gaethje when they meet next month at UFC 218.
Even after taking out his frustrations on ex-lightweight champ Anthony Pettis (20-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 120, Poirier (22-5 MMA, 14-4 UFC) hasn’t forgotten about the chain of events that led him to his fight on Saturday night, and he’s got a score to settle with Alvarez (28-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC).
“I hope Eddie wins, so we can build this up to what it should be,” Poirier told MMAjunkie after his third-round TKO over Pettis in the headliner of Saturday’s fight card at Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va. “I should have (had) an automatic rematch. He shouldn’t have been rewarded with a TV show and more publicity and another big fight against another 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.”
Poirier is speaking about the no contest declared in his meeting with Alvarez in May at UFC 211. Alvarez landed a trio of illegal knees against Poirier in the second round, but the blows were ruled accidental and no winner was declared. Poirier later appealed the result to no avail.
Poirier hoped to get an immediate rematch with the ex-champ. But instead, Alvarez was booked as a coach opposite Gaethje (18-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) on “The Ultimate Fighter 26,” a setup to a showdown at UFC 218.
The winner of Alvarez vs. Gaethje could be on the short list for a title shot. That’s why Poirier is demanding he first meet the winner of the fight. There’s no hiding the chip on his shoulder or his ambition to cut the line of contenders.
“I’m the guy who got robbed in that fight,” Poirier said. “(Alvarez) got rewarded.”
After Pettis tapped out in the third round, Poirier immediately walked to the cage and yelled at UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby, ordering him to green light a showdown with the winner of Alvarez vs. Gaethje.
Historically, the rate of success on career demands is far less than 100 percent. But Poirier is certain he’ll get what he wants.
“100 percent,” he said. “I mean, I’ve earned it. I don’t deserve it. I’m not begging for it. I’ve earned it, and then we move on.”
For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 120, check out the UFC Events section of the site.