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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Farah Hannoun

Dustin Poirier welcomes Justin Gaethje rematch: ‘It’s a fight that makes me nervous’

The thought of fighting Justin Gaethje gets Dustin Poirier’s juices flowing.

Gaethje (24-4 MMA, 7-4 UFC) outlasted Rafael Fiziev this past Saturday in the UFC 286 co-headliner and afterward expressed interest in running things back with either Charles Oliveira or Poirier – whom both scored stoppage wins against him.

Poirier (29-7 MMA, 21-6 UFC) finished Gaethje by fourth-round TKO in their Fight of the Night battle in 2018. Since then, both men have gone 6-2, with their two losses coming in championship fights against Khabib Nurmagomedov and Oliveira. If the UFC offered Poirier the Gaethje rematch, he’d take it.

“It’s a fight that makes me nervous,” Poirier told FanSided MMA. “When I hear a name and I get nervous, it’s motivation. Those are the kind of fights that – same thing with Chandler. When I heard Chandler’s name, when they called me with Michael Chandler, I was nervous, because I knew the danger of those kinds of fights, and that’s what motivates me. Same thing with Justin. If they do call me and he’s the name that they say, maybe it happens. We’ll see.”

Poirier only fought once in 2022, when he submitted Michael Chandler in another Fight of the Night effort this past November at UFC 281. “The Diamond” hopes to be more active this year.

“I’m happy, but I only fought once this year, and I don’t want that to happen again this year,” Poirier said. “But at the same time, my life is different now. My daughter is in first grade, so a summer fight would be ideal. That way I could bring my family with me for the bulk of training camp. For this last fight with Chandler, we had to split it up. I can’t take my daughter out of school for eight, nine weeks, so that makes it a little more difficult. But summer would be good.”

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