UFC 168 Results: 3 Fights for Dustin Poirier to Take Next

Dan HiergesellFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2013

Dec 28, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA;    Dustin Poirier (red gloves) and Diego Brandao (blue gloves) fight during their UFC middleweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Dustin Poirier won Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Before the leg break heard around the world crippled the greatest of all time, two featherweights went to war.

In a bout contested the night before as Diego Brandao failed to make weight, counter-half Dustin Poirier shined.

Driven by divisional determination, evolving striking and world-class moxie, "The Diamond" once again proved that he belongs to be mentioned alongside the best at 145.

But in a division stacked to the brim with elite contenders and future title threats, where exactly does the 24-year-old fit in?

Here are three fights that Poirier should take next en route to a 2014 title run.


Nik Lentz

December 14, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Chad Mendes (red gloves) fights Nik Lentz (blue gloves) during the featherweight bout of the UFC on FOX 9 at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Even though Lentz is coming off a heart-wrenching defeat at the hands of Chad Mendes earlier this month, this is still a great matchup for Poirier.

As one of the toughest guys in the division, Lentz offers something that many other featherweights do not. He's resilient and well-rounded, possesses solid wrestling, loves stirring the media pot and would give Poirier one of the grittiest fights of his career.

Plus, considering each of them just fought, the turnaround wouldn't be astronomical.


Dennis Siver

As the other top featherweight who excelled at UFC 168, Siver seems like the logical bet to fight Poirier next.

Dec 28, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA;    Dennis Siver (red gloves) and Manvel Gamburyan (blue gloves) fight during their UFC featherweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

They each share a recent loss to Cub Swanson and are joined at the hip when it comes to divisional ranking.

For Poirier, he'd essentially be padding his resume in an effort to challenge a Top Five fighter in the weight class sometime in mid-2014.

For Siver, he'd have the opportunity to challenge a ranked opponent after outmuscling Manny Gamburyan on Saturday night.

Either way, it would be an explosive showdown and one that would spark any high-interest pay-per-view main card.


Cub Swanson

This is a fight that gets the blood boiling, but it probably isn't going to be made at this point in time.

With these two already meeting back in February, it's unlikely that the UFC would book a rematch just one year later.

Jul 6, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA;  Cub Swanson (red gloves) and Dennis Siver (blue gloves) during their Featherweight Bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Swanson won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

While their first encounter was an absolute war and arguably much closer than a unanimous-decision victory for Swanson would suggest, the fact remains that Swanson's five-fight win streak may ultimately close the door on Poirier's journey for revenge.

However, with Mendes scheduled to fight the winner of Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas and Frankie Edgar tied up in The Ultimate Fighter, the UFC could opt to give Swanson one more high-profile contender before considering him title worthy.

Poirier would be a perfect candidate for the job.


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