Dustin Poirier praises champ Charles Oliveira for ‘earned gold’

May 15, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Charles Oliveira reacts following his championship TKO victory against Michael Chandler during UFC 262 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Dustin Poirier left UFC 264 with a win and anything but a good feeling after a doctor stoppage granted the lightweight contender a victory over Conor McGregor.

Dustin Poirier vs. Charles Oliveira next at the top of lightweight

Poirier earned a title shot against Charles Oliveira next. The opportunity was awarded by Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White after his victory inside the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday night.

McGregor had surgery Sunday and his return is anything but certain after breaking his tibia and fibula. But that doesn’t mean he’s done talking. After the fight, before he exited on a stretcher with an air cast on his leg, McGregor howled toward the microphone that he was winning the fight before the injury. Two out the three judges scored the first round 10-8 for “Diamond.”

“Dustin, you can celebrate that illegitimate win all you want but you’ve done nothing in there. That second round would have shown all,” McGregor shouted inside the Octagon.

While McGregor might be focused on a fourth bout in the Poirier series, that’s not the focus at the top of the lightweight division going forward.

An earned championship clash

Poirier has quickly shifted his attention to Oliveira, even if he’s less than thrilled with the way things ended with McGregor. White said Poirier’s path forward is clear.

“Dustin Poirier will fight for the title and when Conor’s healed and ready to go, he’ll do the rematch I guess. I don’t know,” White said following UFC 264.

Oliveira is a worthy champion, and Poirier agrees with that sentiment following his win over the weekend. Crediting him for earning “every ounce” of the championship gold he now owns.

“He’s not just a guy in the division who happens to have the belt,” Poirier said. “He’s a guy who has picked himself up off the canvas time and time again, fought through adversity in two weight classes, been in the UFC a decade.”

No venue or date has been set for an eventual championship clash between Oliveira and Poirier.

–Field Level Media

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