Dustin Poirier explains why he snubbed title fight in favour of McGregor trilogy
Dustin Poirier admits beating Conor McGregor again is more important than winning a UFC title.
Poirier stopped McGregor in the second round of their rematch earlier this year, six years after he himself was knocked out in the opening round of their first meeting.
The lightweight was then offered a fight against Charles OIiveira next month for the 155lb belt vacated by Khabib Nurmagomedov – but will instead fight McGregor for a third time on July 10 while Oliveira will take on Michael Chandler for the title.
And Poirier told ESPN: "Planning out my career, this trilogy means a lot to me personally but also to mixed martial arts.
"My personal goal is to beat Conor again and then I'm still the No.1 contender and I'll fight for the championship and wrap gold around my waist.
"It's a beautiful story and I'm not scared to take different routes or go to the grind; those are just the decisions I've taken and I stand by them.
"Fighting Conor the first time when I was a bit more heated in the moment and cared too much, to come back and beat the guy on the big stage… I feel like we owe it to each other to go in there one more time at our best and see who the better fighter is."
Poirier had claimed he should be crowned the champion without fighting for the belt following Nurmagomedov's retirement.
But he added: "I feel like I'm the best in thew world at 155lb but I would never want to be handed something I hadn't earned.
"Maybe I did earn the position I'm in but I'm not the world champion; I have to beat the champion to be the champion. I wouldn't want to be handed anything, I would rather the title was vacant and up for grabs."
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