UFC interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier told TMZ Sports on Tuesday that he wants Khabib Nurmagomedov next.
"He knows what's up. I know what's up. Let's f--king fight," the 30-year-old said.
"I think September is perfect for this fight," Poirier said. "I believe that's when [Khabib's] suspension is over. That will give me plenty of time to decompress and get back into training camp. It's perfect."
Poirier beat Max Holloway via unanimous decision at UFC 236 for the interim title.
UFC President Dana White told TMZ Sports before UFC 236 that the winner of the Holloway-Poirier fight would face Khabib, who has been suspended for his role in a post-fight brawl following his victory over Conor McGregor at UFC 229.
Per Alexander K. Lee of MMA Fighting, White confirmed that sentiment after Poirier's win.
"Yes, that's the fight," White said of this matchup after UFC 236. "Poirier will fight Khabib next. Probably in September."
The lightweight champion is eligible to come off that suspension in July. However, MMA Junkie reported that the undefeated title holder may be out even longer:
"Nurmagomedov, a practicing Muslim, also will take a self-imposed hiatus from competition shortly after his suspension ends to honor Ramadan, which runs from May 5 to June 4 this year. Without a reduction in his suspension, his potential return could be on hold until the fall."
Betonline.ag currently lists Khabib as a heavy -265 favorite ($265 bet needed to win $100) over Poirier.
The 27-0 Khabib will be very difficult to beat, although Poirier has some momentum on his side, too. He's scored some impressive victories of late, including TKO wins over Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje, as well as a submission win versus Anthony Pettis. He's 8-1 with one no-contest in his last 10 matches.