Dustin Poirier’s quest to become the UFC’s undisputed lightweight champ came to halt at the hands of Khabib Nurmagomedov  last September, but winning another UFC belt remains his primary goal. In fact, according to Poirier, he believes his peak years and abilities are right around the corner.
Poirier hasn’t abandoned quest to win a unified belt
Last May, Poirier scored the biggest win of his career as he worked his way to a decision win over Max Holloway at UFC 236 and won the interim lightweight belt. The vet had been booked for that opportunity as a result of a five fight, undefeated winning streak.
At UFC 242 in September, however, Poirier was unable to complete his championship journey, as he was tapped out by Nurmagomedov in round three. Since the loss, there’s been a lot of discussion about who and when Poirier will fight next.
While talking to MMA Junkie  recently, Poirier made it clear that he’s still hunting the undisputed, lightweight crown:
“My ultimate goal is to become the undisputed world champion,” Poirier said. “I cannot just go on with my career chasing big fights or just exciting fights. Those are the things I want to be part of. I want to entertain the fans and put on great fights and have ‘Fight of the Nights’ and have exiting matchups, but at the same time I want to be the undisputed world champion. I don’t want to have an asterisk next to my accomplishments for the rest of my life. I don’t want everybody to say ‘interim champ’ every time someone says Dustin was the champion.”
“Being honest with myself, I know where I’m at in my career,” Poirier said. “I feel like the best years are the next few. Two to three years, I think that’s going to be my prime this next two to three. But honestly, I’m on the back nine in my career. I have 41 fights; I’m about to be 31. That’s just being real when I look myself in the mirror. It could be longer than that, but I think the next three years are going to be prime fight years for me.
Even if you question whether Poirier can defeat the likes of Tony Ferguson, Conor McGregor or Khabib, it would be silly to completely right off “The Diamond” off as a contender. In recent years, Poirier has never looked better and he’s right; at 31 he’s certainly not past his prime.
A timeline for Poirier’s return?
Poirier has been sidelined due to issues with his hip, which he ultimately had surgery to repair. During the aforementioned interview the ATT fighter relayed he’s hoping to fight again in April. Who could be next for “The Diamond”?