Poirier and the Ultimate Fighting Championship seem to have
differing views regarding the promotion’s upcoming schedule during
the coronavirus pandemic.
Once word got out that Khabib
Nurmagomedov would be unable to leave Russia to compete at UFC
249 due to travel restrictions in the country, Dustin
Poirier quickly offered to step in against Tony
Ferguson on April 18.
I just threw it out there….that I’m open,” Poirier told
ESPN. “I’m not out here begging for fights, but if they need
somebody and nobody’s taking it at 155 or nobody’s ready, then I’ll
do it. Any chance I get on a big fight like that, I’m always
Poirier is currently supposed to face Dan Hooker in
the UFC Fight Night 175 headliner in San Diego on May 16. According
to Poirier, promotion officials told him to keep getting ready for
“They told me keep preparing for what I’m supposed to be preparing
for, and they’ll let me know what’s going on. That’s it,” Poirier
said. “They just told me to keep preparing for May.”
The coronavirus pandemic has thrown the entire world into a state
of uncertainty, and that includes the realm of professional sports.
UFC president Dana White has vowed that UFC 249 will go on as
planned, even as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
Even if UFC 249 does take place, there’s no guarantee as to what
happens beyond that.
Poirier isn’t feeling too good about the prospect of UFC San Diego
happening on its scheduled date.
“I don’t think so. I really don’t,” Poirier said. “I don’t have
And even if Poirier does square off against Hooker on May 16, it’s
unlikely that “The Diamond” will be in peak form.
“Honestly, there’s no way to properly prepare,” he said. “I have my
own personal gym here in Louisiana, and I can go hit the bags. I
have two buddies who I train with there that are social-distancing
themselves, as well, so I kind of trust them to not bring the
fungus among us in my gym, but other than that, I’m there hitting
the bag or rolling with those guys or I’m in my house.
“I can jog and stuff, I can get in shape, but to be fine-tuned for
a fight at the highest level, I can’t do it. I don’t know what my
opponent is doing, if he’s not being able to train. So May seems
like a push, but we’ll see.”