Dustin Poirier’s quest for undisputed UFC gold will take place later this year after he agreed to take on lightweight champion Charles Oliveira at UFC 269.
The American, the division’s No 1-ranked contender, posted the news on social media early on Monday, tweeting simply “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”. ESPN later reported that Poirier’s representatives had confirmed the title fight for the December 11 event.
Poirier, whose professional mixed martial arts record stands at 28-6, moved into pole position for a championship bout off the back of a stellar 2021. In January, he defeated Conor McGregor at UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi – the first knockout defeat of the Irishman's career – and then triumphed in the lightweight rematch, their third bout, at UFC 264 in July. McGregor suffered a serious leg injury at the end of the first round in Las Vegas.
Poirier, 32, has fought once before for the lightweight title, losing to then-champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242 in Abu Dhabi in September 2019. Poirier had captured the interim belt earlier that year, when he defeated Max Holloway in the eliminator.
Oliveira, meanwhile, is the current lightweight title-holder following his knockout of Michael Chandler in May, when the pair competed for the vacant belt after Nurmagomedov’s retirement. The Brazilian, whose pro record reads 31-8, rides a nine-fight win streak, with eight of those coming via finishes.
Poirier had previously labelled himself the “uncrowned champ” given his long career and fine 2021, but told MMA Junkie last month: “I’m not [the champ]. It’s cool, it’s fun, but I’m not. Charles is the world champion, and I’m trying to be that and I have an opportunity. I have 25 minutes to make that happen, so it’s up to me.
“To be the world champion is the reason I ever put on a pair of gloves, not to make money or make a name. Everything else is great, but those are just by-products of trying to be the best, and I have another chance here.
“I came up short against Khabib. I have another chance to put a gold, undisputed belt in my home and add that to my legacy, and that’s what I’m solely focused on.”