On Monday, Feb. 17, Al Iaquinta appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on ESPN where he called out Dustin Poirier to be his next fight in the UFC.
Before the call out, Iaquinta gave his take on Poirier’s performance in his title fight last September at UFC 242 against lightweight champ, Khabib Nurmagomedov, where he was submitted in the third-round due to a rear naked choke.
“Did you see in the second round, or was it the third round? Dustin Poirier is fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov right? And he goes, ‘I can’t get this guy off me, not a lot of space not a lot of space, can’t get this guy off of me.’ Who did he think he was fighting?”
Iaquinta went five rounds with Nurmagomedov back in 2018 at UFC 223, where they competed for the lightweight championship. Iaquinta ultimately lost by decision that night, but considering that he didn’t get finished, he feels that a fight against Poirier is the right fight to make.
“So he doesn’t have a fight coming up, that’s the fight. The UFC just has to call him. I’m pretty sure I told Hunter (Campbell), I texted Sean Shelby (UFC Matchmakers), I said ‘that’s the fight.’ And I think – I’m pretty sure. I don’t know if they didn’t offer it to him, but if they did, he turned it down. So either way the offer is extended now and that’s it. I think that’s a good fight,” said Iaquinta. “I think that’s the fight to be made.”
Following the interview, Poirier took to twitter to respond to Iaquinta. Stating that he’s won two fights in the last five years.
Poirier: “(Al Iaquinta) Bro you won 2 fights in the last 5 years…. pipe down.”
Iaquinta: “Do something about it.”
Iaquinta: “How many did I give up in Dustin?”
Poirier: “I promise you I didn’t give up in that fight.”
Iaquinta: “You tap you give up. You gave up.”Dustin Poirier and Al Iaquinta’s back and forth on Twitter.
There’s no telling as of now whether or not the UFC is interested in this match up. Assuming Iaquinta leaves Sunday’s grappling competition injury free, the UFC could then start to consider negotiations between the two fighters about a potential bout.
If one thing is clear, it’s that both fighters are down for this fight.