There is a ruckus brewing in the ranks of the featherweight division, and Dustin Poirier would be honored to get his hands on Conor McGregor.
The Louisiana native has been blazing his way up the ranks of the 145-pound division on the strength of a three-fight winning streak where he's dominated a collection of top opposition. Along the way, the 25-year-old American Top Team product has come into his own, as he's consistently put on dominant performances inside the Octagon.
There is no doubt The Diamond is looking for a fight that will get him to a title shot, but the current logjam in the title tier of the featherweight fold may force the Southern Florida transplant to take a longer route to the throne. Yet Poirier has never been a fighter short in the work ethic department, and his love for the scrap and determination to reach the top of the mountain fuels him forward.
While the title tier may be tied up for the next few months waiting for Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes to sort out their business, the surging prospect-turned-contender will have a few more nights inside the cage before a title shot emerges.
With that in mind, brash Irishman Conor McGregor is a name that has been floating around as a potential opponent in recent weeks, and with the fast-talking SBG representative's win over Diego Brandao at Fight Night 46, a showdown between the two featherweights could very well materialize.
It is no secret that Poirier wants a fight that will get him up the ladder as quickly as possible, but he has no problem taking his shot at derailing the hype train from Dublin.
"[McGregor] is a solid fighter and a good athlete," Poirier said. "My next fight will be my 11th in the UFC, and it would be his fourth. That said, I'm a fighter and don't like to pick who I fight. If I had my choice, I'd be fighting for the belt. But I can't sit back and say I want to fight Aldo, Mendes or Cub, because I've already said all of this stuff, and the UFC is going to do what they want to do. For me as a fighter, I want to whip McGregor's ass for talking so much. I don't like that. I work hard and I take this very seriously. This is my life and it would be a pleasure for me to beat a guy who believes in himself like that.
"Besides my wrestling and jiu-jitsu being better, I believe my boxing and kickboxing are better than his. He just talks a lot and gets a lot of publicity. And good for him, but I would love to whip him. Like I said, this is my life and any challenges like this excite me."
Regardless if his next fight comes against McGregor or another top featherweight, the Lafayette native is prepared for the road ahead. He knows it will take a few more impressive victories to make his goal of a title opportunity come to fruition, but Poirier is motivated to reach great heights. He's determined to scrap his way to the top of the featherweight heap and make his dream of becoming a UFC champion come true.
"I feel like I'm right on the verge of a big fight and I want it," Poirier said. "I want that No. 1 contender fight, or a rematch with Cub [Swanson], but the UFC knows what they want to do and I'm going to take what they give me. I've been busting my butt over here in Florida. This is my permanent home now and I moved here to become a champion. If the goal for me to was to be a successful fighter and make a little bit of money; I've done that already.
"I've accomplished that, but that is not the goal. The goal is to be the world champion and have that gold around my waist. That's the end of the tunnel and want I'm shooting for."
Duane Finley is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. All quotes are obtained firsthand unless noted otherwise.