“I don’t even know if Nate was 100 percent down for this one,” Poirier today told MMAjunkie.
Before a hip injury flared, Poirier (24-5 MMA, 16-4 UFC) said he and Diaz (19-11 MMA, 14-9 UFC) were offered the main event of UFC 230 next month in New York City. But from what he was told by the promotion, Diaz wouldn’t agree to a fight at lightweight.
“He kind of negotiated ourselves out of the main event,” Poirier today told MMAjunkie. “The UFC offered us the main event, and he kept pushing for a different weight.”
As the UFC struggled to find a main event for the Madison Square Garden fight card, Diaz announced he and Poirier would open a new division by fighting for the first-ever 165-pound title. UFC President Dana White immediately denied that was the case.
Behind the scenes, Poirier said negotiations broke down.
“(The UFC) said, ‘We’ll give you the main event, but it has to be at 155,’ and he kept pushing, and they had to go a different route,” he said.
In early October, Poirier vented to Diaz on Twitter. But a more pressing issue soon captured his attention.
One morning, Poirier awoke to pain in his hip. Although he’d suffered the same issue in camp for his previous two bouts, this time was more severe. In practice, he was unable to do sprints or throw high kicks.
“It’s been bothering me, but it’s progressively gotten worse over the training camps and over the years,” he said.
Soon, he discovered he had multiple tears in the labrum of his hip, and fighting at UFC 230 was no longer an option. Diaz was also ruled out of the event by White.
On Thursday, Poirier is scheduled for another doctor’s appointment that should determine how long the injury keeps him out of action. He heads to Los Angeles to get a second opinion on whether he can undergo stem cell treatment, which should drastically shorten the amount of time he’s forced to sit on the bench.
Poirier has nothing but praise for the UFC’s treatment of his injury.
“They’ve been incredible with everything, man,” he said. “It’s the first time I came to them with an injury. They’re really handling business.”
If he’s able to make a quick return, Poirier hasn’t ruled out Diaz. It’s a fight that would bring a massive amount of attention, and it would keep him in line for a title shot down the road.
But ultimately, with the UFC lightweight division on shaky ground after a brawl between champ Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor, there’s no telling what will happen next.
“If nothing else shakes out, or everyone else is booked, I think (Diaz) does make a lot of sense,” Poirier said. “I really wish I could tell you (what’s next). I have no clue.
“I think if Khabib (Nurmagomedov) doesn’t get a big punishment, I think him and Tony (Ferguson) makes sense. Tony’s on a 12-fight win streak; he’s the former interim world champion. He’s done everything to prove he’s the next guy in line. And I’m the guy after that. I’ve just got to keep my spot.”
UFC 230 is now headlined by a heavyweight title fight between current two-division champ Daniel Cormier and Derrick Lewis.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Dustin Poirier unsure Nate Diaz '100 percent down,' but still open to fight