Conor McGregor wants to jump the line in the UFC featherweight division. As you might expect in a case like this, that's not going to happen without a fight.
Before, during and after McGregor's stirring first-round TKO of Diego Brandao at UFC Fight Night 46 in Dublin Saturday, a new and very dangerous challenger revealed himself to the Irish sensation: young up-and-comer Dustin "The Diamond" Poirier.
On Monday, Poirier took his challenge to a new level, crushing McGregor's UFC bona fides down the proverbial fairway faster than interviewer Ariel Helwani could tee them up.
"He runs his mouth too much," said the Louisiana native Monday on Helwani's The MMA Hour broadcast. "I can't believe the hype this guy is getting, man. I think he is overhyped, no doubt about it, 100 percent.
"He says he's the real deal and all of these groupies think he's the real deal, so let's get in there and find out, man," Poirier continued. "I'll be the judge of how good he is. ... I've been getting so many hate messages. But that's cool, I love it, build him up, it's going to be a lot sweeter when I stand over him. This guy is not who you think he is."
The two men have informally agreed to face each other at UFC 178 in September. No official announcement has been made.
Poirier revealed frustration over not getting big-name fights despite a recent run of success and appears to be looking to fight a popular but still-green UFC phenom in McGregor, who is getting large engagements for himself in relatively short order.
"I feel like I should be fighting Frankie Edgar, Chad Mendes and Cub Swanson again. I should be fighting the top guys, but I've asked for those fights and haven't gotten them," Poirier said. "What should I do? ... These hands are working hands, and sometimes you have to get them dirty. I'll go to the back of line to clean this guy up."
"The Diamond" also quickly brushed off the talk that McGregor was a top-10 UFC featherweight.
"Not even top 10," Poirier said. "I will be the first real fight he’s ever been in."
Poirier, 25, is 6-2 in the UFC Octagon (16-3). That includes a current three-fight winning streak over Erik Koch, Brandao and Akira Corassani. He finished both Brandao and Corassani by TKO.
McGregor, 26, is 3-0 in the UFC (15-2 overall). His win over Brandao was his first fight following an 11-month recovery from a knee injury he sustained in a victory over Max Holloway. McGregor defeated Marcus Brimage in his 2013 UFC debut.